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Tyne and Wear HER(3705): Marley Hill Colliery - Details

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Marley Hill Colliery

Marley Hill



Coal Mining Site


Early Modern


Documentary Evidence

The Marley Hill Colliery was commenced on 9th January 1840 and the Busty seam was reached on 28th June 1840, production having commenced in May 1840 from the upper seams. The Busty seam was prime coking quality and in 1842/3 330 beehive coke ovens were erected. These developments were carried out by the Marley Hill Coal Company. The Marley Hill Coking Company was formed in 1844. By 1847 the Colliery was producing 200,000 tons of coal and 70,000 tons of coke with sales all over Britain and France. The M.H. Coking Company also had coke ovens at Grimsby which used Marley Hill coal shipped from Jarrow. A new by-product coking plant was opened at Marley Hill in July 1908, replacing the beehive ovens at Marley Hill, Byermoor, Burnopfield and Dipton Colleries. The by-product plant consisted of 60 Hussener vertical ovens which were later increased to 90 ovens. The plant produced the following by-products: sulphate of ammonia, benzol, sulphuric acid and various tar products. The Marley Hill coking plant was replaced by the Monkton coke oven and by-product plant which was opened on 5th April 1937, the Marley Hill plant being closed shortly afterwards. The developmental history of the site can be traced through historic map evidence: the 1st edition Ordnance Survey plan, for example, shows wagonway sidings and coke ovens within the site, and Marley Hill Wagonway (HER ref. 3713) which linked the colliery to the Pontop and Jarrow Railway.




<< HER 3705 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 6 I. Ayris, Marley Hill, Coke Works; Durham Mining Museum; Whellan, 1894, Directory of County Durham; N. Emery, 1998, Banners of the Durham Coalfield; Archaeological Services Durham University, 2013, Marley Hill Proposed Surface Mine, Geophysical Survey and fieldwalking

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