Tyne and Wear HER(3339): Cowclose Way - Details
Virtually nothing is known of the ownership or purpose of this waggonway despite it paying a wayleave in 1690 that was as great as Crawcrook’s and more than Chopwell’s. It was first noticed in the 19th century by Bourn (1896, 87). Today, its course can be traced east of Chopwell, through Garesfield Golf Course to Greenside, where a colliery at Cow Close Farm must have been the original terminus. From there it ran roughly parallel with the Chopwell Way to staiths at Stella, east of Chopwell’s. Like the Crawcrook Way, it is not shown on the 1728 plan but it is unknown whether Cowclose colliery was still active at this time. A section of the wagonway, is marked as Old on the 1st edition OS mapping. In 1772 Albert Silvertop re-aligned the route from Greenside via Stargate to Stella which shared the chopwell Way (HER 3342).
<< HER 3339 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 5 G. Bennett, E. Clavering & A. Rounding, 1990, A Fighting Trade - Rail Transport in Tyne Coal 1600-1800 W. Bourn, 1896, History of the Parish of Ryton, p 87 1784, Staiths and Waggonways at Stella -Lancashire County Record Office, LRO DDTo E5/142 1826, Greenside Colliery and Waggonway c.1826 -Durham Records Office, NCB I/RS 770 1820, Part of Stella Estate c.1820 -Durham Records Office, DX 35/14, 35/15 A. Williams, 2004, A Fighting Trade - Review and mapping of routes; unpublished document for Tyne & Wear Heritage Environment Record; Alan Williams Archaeology, 2013, Waggonways to the South Bank of the River Tyne and to the River Wear; Bennett et al 1990, A Fighting Trade - Rail Transport in Tyne Coal 1600-1800, vol 1: 147 vol 2: 19; Turnbull, L, 2012, Railways Before George Stephenson (entry 68) 155, 171