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Tyne and Wear HER(3801): Felling Colliery (Brandling Main/John Pit) - Details

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Felling Colliery (Brandling Main/John Pit)




Coal Mining Site


Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

Opened 1779 and closed 1931. There were three pits - John Pit NZ 273 622, Venture Pit NZ 228 627 and William Pit. The colliery was opened by Charles Brandling. It was subsequently owned by Messrs John and William Brandling, Henderson and Grace. In the 1850s it was owned by Messrs Carr, Potts & Co, then Carr & Co, then Elliott & Co, then Sir George Elliott, Bart. In 1883 John Bowes and Partners LTD bought the mine. This is one of the oldest colleries in what was County Durham. Coal was first wrought in Felling Manor in the seventeenth century. Boring operations in Felling started in 1758. In 1840 a borehole was sunk from the Low Main seam at John Pit to the Beaumont seam. In 1842 the High Main seam was abandoned and tubbed off at Tyne Main Colliery. The owners of Felling, Walker, Wallsend, Willington and Heaton Colleries all then contributed to the running cost of the large pumping engine at Friar's Goose (HER 1019) which prevented water passing into the dip. In 1849 the engine raised 1170 gallons of water a minute. On 24 May 1812, an explosion killed 92 people. There is a memorial in St Mary's Churchyard, Heworth. On 24 December 1813 22 miners were killed, another 6 in an explosion on 23 October 1821 and another 6 on 22 January 1847. In 1894, Whellan reports that the colliery employed 685 men and boys.




<< HER 3801 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 7 Bennett, G, Clavering, E & Rounding, A, 1989, A Fighting Trade, Vol 1, p 155; Durham Mining Museum; Whellan, 1894, Directory of County Durham; F. Atkinson, 1980, North East England - People at Work 1860-1950; Waiting at the Pit Head - Coal Mining Disasters on Tyneside, 2012, leaflet published by St. James Heritage & Environment Group and the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers; Alan Williams Archaeology, 2009, Brandling Development Site, Felling - Archaeological Assessment

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