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Tyne and Wear HER(3749): Team Way - Details

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Team Way






Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

A Wagonway. Marked as Old on the 1st edition OS mapping, it was probably out of use by 1857. It was either a branch of the Team Colliery Wagonway or part of its original line. The Ravensworth branch of the Teams Wagonway terminated to the north east of Old Ravensworth in the vicinity of Ravensworth Park Farm. In use by 1670 serving Lidell's coal pits on the western side of Team Valley. Bennett, Clavering and Round (source {2}) refer to a wagonway serving, inter alia, a colliery or colleries "1/2m SW of Old Ravensworth" by 1752 {3}. The first Team waggonway opened in 1670 and lead to staiths at Team, probably from a railhead near Cow Close Mill (now Close House). Owned by Sir Thomas Liddell, he planned to combine the waggonway with a complex pumping scheme to drain several hundred acres in the low-lying Team Valley and the slopes of the Ravensworth ridge that overlooked it. However, the catchment area was too small to power the pumps so a long and circuitous leat, called “The Trench” was built to tap into the Black Burn. The coal mill comprised three wheels that drove a battery of pumps in several interlinked shafts, operated by enormous timber transmission shafts and cog-and-rung gearing; this must have been the most ambitious use of water power in the coalfield. The original Team Way lay entirely west of the river and headed firmly southwards. Its earliest extension, which has left no trace, was laid to Kibblesworth and survived at least until 1750. However, it is unknown whether its route from Cow Close to the Town Fields, west of the village, was laid. The waggonway was extended into Robin’s Wood to a terminus called “Cocksclose” sometime between 1711 and 1723 when a new colliery opened in High Park. A number of branches also developed to the east of the Team as it was easily bridged. These exploited the western face of the Gateshead ridge. The first eastern branch crossed the stream into Derwent Crook, perhaps as early as the 1680s. Coal was worked here in 1740 by Claughton who was barred from using the Team Way and who probably sought an outlet over Gateshead Fell. A branch was rebuilt from Derwent Crook and Breckenbeds to the Team Way in the later 18th century, perhaps between 1756-68, and was still open in the 1840s. This branch had once reached Low Fell, but by 1812 had been cut back to Low Moor near the Team. A quite distinct branch to the Team Way seems to have been laid for the Chow Dene sinking of 1746. The main crossing of the Team, upstream, was already open by March 1726 and was destined to become the main line of the Team Waggonway. In 1726 it reached Aller Dene Colliery and was spreading fingers up the hillside. By 1812 the line reached its greatest extent, running to the limit of the Liddell’s Lamesley estate. By this time Team staith had long been abandoned, and outlets sought on the lower Tyne. The coal mill of 1670 may have survived until 1750 when a Newcomen engine was installed at Ravensworth.




<< HER 3749 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 6 Bennett, G, Clavering, E & Rounding, A, 1989, A Fighting Trade, Vol 1, p 65-9, vol 2, 7 I. Ayris, 1993, Ravensworth Grange - railway and wagonway remains - letter to Steve Speak G. Bennett, E. Clavering & A. Rounding, 1990, A Fighting Trade - Rail Transport in Tyne Coal 1600-1800 G. Sinclair, 1672, The Hydrostaticks, p 298-9 Publications of the Surtees Society, 197, 53, 60, 93-4, 234 F. Manders, History of Gateshead, p 132 Gateshead Library Local Studies, GPL G/CK6/14 Gateshead Library Local Studies, GPL G/Ellison C 17/1, A 35/40 S. Miller, The establishment of the R W C Bulletin of the Durham County Local History Society, 26 Northumberland Records Office, Unthank 36c Durham Records Office, D/St/B/5/29 Waggonways on South Bank of Tyne, Durham Records Office, D/St/P17/2 Plan of the Colleries on the Rivers Tyne and Wear, Gateshead Library Local Studies, GPL CAB A1/10 W. Casson, 1801, Plan showing Colleries and Waggonways on the rivers Tyne and Wear, Gateshead Library Local Studies, GPL CAB A1/4 R.L. Galloway, 1898, of Coal Mining and the Coal Trade, volume 1, p 373 pp 373-4 Waggonways and Railways of North-West Durham, Durham Records Office, D/CG 6/1435 J.T.W. Bell, 1843, The Great Northern Coalfield, 2nd series Team Way at Team Colliery Eighton, Gateshead Library Local Studies, GPL BP 1/83 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; Turnbull, L, 2012, Railways Before George Stephenson (entry 54) 155, 169; TWAS DT.BEL/2/183 c.1728 Map of Gateshead

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