UK Coal admitted some equipment had been taken to some of its other pits but said the colliery would be sold to any prospective bidder.
The shaft is likely to be a remnant of the former colliery on the site.
Back in 1831, Welsh coal miners at the tower colliery invented the red flag as a symbol of rebellion.
Planning permission already exists for parts of the colliery where coal has been extracted, although these permissions are due to run out this year.
The civic society is appealing for people connected with the colliery to come forward with recollections of life at the pit.
The colliery is now producing 10,000 tonnes of coal a week, which is 2,000 more than before the mine went into receivership.
At that time the mining workers' unions of the colliery supported the band financially, each miner paying a penny from his wages.
No one wants a colliery on their doorstep or a coal mine under their home.
Mr Richards had been a banksman at Cleworth Hall Colliery in Tyldesley and until he retired worked as a service man collecting coal samples from collieries throughout Lancashire.
SEVEN collieries in the region are among nine mines to share a £16.5m Government handout designed to help safeguard their future.