Production at the Devon Colliery began in the 18th century and coal was mined there for around 300 years.

In the early part of the 18th century a new coal mine, owned by John Francis Miller Erskine and Robert Bald and later by the Alloa Coal Company, was sunk opposite what is now Devon Village. It was named Devon Colliery.

In 1835, Bald and Erskine went their separate ways as Bald utterly deplored the lack of regulation for not only female miners but child workers at the time.

His views had an impact in 1842 when the employment of women and children in mines was outlawed.

Between 1854 and 1879, the mine was mothballed then re-opened. In 1873, Andrew Roxburgh the then manager of the Alloa Coal Company, took the decision to re-open it but it ran well over the £10,000 budget allocated to it.

A 600ft shaft was prepared. A pair of 24-inch winding engines with mahogany, iron, and steel cylinders with a 12ft revolving drum for winding the wire ropes and 12ft pulleys were all put in place for production to begin.

Ventilation at the mine was by means of a 30ft diameter fan which moved the air at 200,000 cubic feet per minute which was necessary for the three-square miles of mine workings.

Also, on site was a branch railway which led to the Alloa docks where the coal was easily transported on ships.

One of the issues with the coal mines in Clackmannanshire was water ingress. To combat the problem, powerful pumps were required and in 1864, Neilson and Company of Glasgow, constructed the beam-engine house which was still used into the twentieth century.

It pumped water at five tons per minute. In 1932 a new electric pump was installed.

However, a major disaster struck the mine in 1897. On March 26 at the Lower Five Feet Seam water had gathered behind a dam and under pressure, either the wooden door or the valve ruptured.

At about 5.45am that morning, seven men were working at the level and six were drowned as a result. They were David Allan, Peter Allan, George Blair, William Grant, John Nicol and Charles Taylor.

The only survivor, John Hunter from Devon Village, was discovered half unconscious by other miners who were beginning their shift at 6am.

All work was suspended until the water was pumped safely away and the bodies were eventually recovered on April 20 and May 1. This was the worst single disaster at the colliery.