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Tyne and Wear HER(17102): Penshaw, Rainton Waggonway, branch to Penshaw (Wharton Main) - Details

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Penshaw, Rainton Waggonway, branch to Penshaw (Wharton Main)






Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

By 1697, the Wharton family’s Rainton Waggonway carried coal from their Rainton Ducks Colliery across Dubmire and Hall Moors and over Sedgeletch from where the line took up an old waggonway route used by Sir John Duck through Newbottle, Penshaw and down Waggon Hill to the south bank of the River Wear. Branches were added to the waggonway from Newbottle Colliery for the Earl of Scarborough’s coal in 1723 and another from Smith’s Colliery in Morton but the route that these branch lines took has not been established. In 1730, the colliery passed by marriage to the Tempest family. Over the middle years of the 18th century, the course of the main way around Dubmires was altered because of wayleave problems and for a time the line became circuitous. By the late 1760s, the line had reverted to its former course. Branch lines were added to deep collieries. Wharton Main or Penshaw Colliery lay close to the River Wear and was sunk to the Hutton Seam at 84 fathoms. It is shown on Casson’s map of the Coalfield of 1801.




Alan Williams Archaeology, 2013, Waggonways to the South Bank of the River Tyne and to the River Wear; Turnbull, L, 2012, Railways Before George Stephenson (entry 86G) p163 & 172; Casson, 1801, Map of the Coalfield

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