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Ryton, Stargate Colliery
Coal Mining Site
Stargate Pit, on the Townley Main Wagonway (HER 3317). Opened in 1800 by the Dunns of Stella Hall. An explosion in 1801 was followed by another serious explosion on 30th May 1826 when 38 men and boys were killed. The Ryton Heritage Group erected a memorial to the victims in Ryton Holy Cross churchyard in 1993. Dunn's lease expired in 1833, and the colliery having been laid in after the accident, was not reopened until 1840 when its owners, the Stella Coal Company attached it to the Rector's Glebe and Stella Freehold Colleries. The colliery owners built all the houses in the village as workmen's dwellings. A Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1877.
<< HER 3319 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 1 Blaydon, Stella etc file, SCT/GAT/IA4 -Historic Environment Record Bennett, G, Clavering, E & Rounding, A, 1989, A Fighting Trade, Vol 1, p 148; Durham Mining Museum www.dmm.org.uk; G. Nicholson, A most melancholy accident - The Stargate Pit explosion of 1826