Tyne and Wear HER(15333): Chirton Waggonway - Details
In the early eighteenth century Chirton Colliery, working the High Main Seam, was let to John Rogers and Henry Hudson, owners of the adjacent Whitley Colliery (Turnbull 2012, 13 route 9). In 1754, the colliery was leased to a consortium led by a coal buyer, Edmund Shallet and the principal landowners, Edward Collingwood and Hylton Lawson. By 1769, Shallet’s share had been bought up by John Liddell. In 1773, the colliery sent out 10,000 chaldrons, making it one of the North-East’s main collieries but seems to have closed by 1777. New workings to the north-west (Balkwell Farm) were opened subsequently. A plan of 1769 (Watson 21/6), shows the area of coal extraction at Chirton Colliery superimposed with the route of Chirton Waggonway. The main line ran from a staith on the Tyne at North Shields to the Chirton and Turnpike Pits with two branch lines, one running north-west to Hopewell and Chance Pits and the other to the north-east to Rose Pit. The line was extended to the north-west to Balkwell Farm post 1777.
Alan Williams Archaeology, July 2012, Waggonways North of the River Tyne - Tyne and Wear HER Enhancement Project; North East Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineering, Watson 21/6, Plan of Chirton Colliery, property of Edward Collingwood etc. Giving details of geology, coal working and water levels. Shows pits, boreholes, waggonway and crank gin. 7th December 1769; Les Turnbull, 2012, Railways Before George Stephenson (route 9)