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Tyne and Wear HER(2616): Old Washington Way (Broomy), Wagonway - Details

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Old Washington Way (Broomy), Wagonway






Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

Alan Williams suggests that it is the earliest surviving plan of Washington Estate from the 1750s, shows Broomy Waggon Way running to a staith on the north bank of the River Wear at Cox Green. It was a short line, serving coal pits in Robert Shafto’s land in the south-east part of the estate. A map of 1764 included with a lease from Robert Shafto and Sir Gilfrid Lawson granting mining rights in Oxclose to a partnership led by a Newark Hudson, shows that the waggonway was extended to serve coal pits in this new area. The partnership built a waggonway 14 yards wide with one main way and one bye way with a staith 60 yards long and 20 yards wide at Cox Green. Around the same time, Lawson and Shafto granted a wayleave to Lord Ravensworth, Mary Bowes and John, Earl of Bute (the ‘Grand Allies’) from their Mount Moor Colliery which connected with the existing waggonway but used a new staith on Shafto’s land to the west. A bridge was also built to cross the significant valley of the Oxclose Burn. In 1801, a new waggonway was constructed by the Grand Allies from Urpeth Colliery joining with the existing Broomy Waggonway at Mount Moor and on to the River Wear. Again, this ran to a new staith, this time to the east of the early staith on land owned by Sir Henry Vane. By this time, the Waggonway had become known as the Old Washington Way to distinguish it from Rudston's new route (HER2610) opened in 1787.




<< HER 2616 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 7; Turnbull, L, 2012, Railways Before George Stephenson (entry 59/59a) 72-73, 161, 172; Alan Williams Archaeology, 2013, Waggonways to the South Bank of the River Tyne and to the River Wear; Gibson, 1787, Map of Coalfield; NEIMME: Watson 33/23, 33/26, 34/1 and Plan of Washington Estate, c.1750 38/1/19; NEIMME: Buddle 7/1; Casson's Map of Coalfield 1803

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