Tyne and Wear HER(14952): Byker, Lawson's Main to St. Anthonys waggonway - Details
Byker, Lawson's Main to St. Anthonys waggonway
1791-1811. The eastern part of the Grand Allies Heaton Royalty was served by a waggonway which ran from Heaton High Pit, past Middle Pit and Old Engine Pit to Lawson's Main Pit (South Heaton Pit). From this point the waggonway ran to staiths at St. Anthony's. The route was realigned in 1805 but the older route only fell out of use when Lawson's Main was flooded and closed in 1811. Heaton Waggonway was probably the first iron railway in the north of England when it replaced its wooden rails with cast iron in 1797. Part of the line functioned as an inclined plane. Archaeological excavations in 2011 in the playing fields at the Lightfoot Centre by Pre-Construct Archaeology revealed evidence of the timber colliery waggonway running NW-SE towards the River Tyne. The trackbed was recorded incorporating four rail impressions and tentative evidence for wooden dowels for securing the rails. There were drainage ditches running to either side, which were filled with coal waste.
Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd, 2011, Archaeological Investigations at the Lightfoot Centre, Wharrier Street, Walker, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear; Alan Williams Archaeology, 2011-12, Waggonways North of the River Tyne, Tyne and Wear HER Enhancement Project; North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne Watson 27/13