Tyne and Wear HER(16163): Longbenton, William (Billy) Pit Cottages - Details
Longbenton, William (Billy) Pit Cottages
Two rows of terraced housing, initially known as William Pit cottages were constructed to the north-west of the pithead structures (HER4179), sometime between 1803 and 1810. These belonged to Willington Colliery and in all there were between 16-23 dwellings. The cottages were 1 1/2 storeys in height, built in brick with a pantile roof. They were described by one resident as having originally been 'back-to-back' and consisted of a living room and scullery downstairs and a single room upstairs, which was accessed via a ladder. The downstairs rooms were paved and a fireplace was located in the main room. There were no services to the house. Water was supplied by a well until the early 20th century when two outside water taps were installed. After 1910 the first drains and sinks were added to the houses. In the 1850s, following the cdlosure of the pit, the name of the settlement changed to Billy Pit. The cottages were condemed in 1936. At this date there were 81 residents recorded as living at Billy Pit - all were transferred to the new Longbenton Estate. The re-housing scheme was delayed until 1940. The cottages had large gardens in the form of detached allotments. The majotiry of the allotments appear to have been going out of use by 1890s although those within the north-east corner appear to have been retained into the 1950s.
Northern Archaeological Associates, 2013, Billy Pit Colliery, Longbenton, archaeological evaluation