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Tyne and Wear HER(3928): Throckley Colliery to Lemington Waggonway - Details

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Throckley Colliery to Lemington Waggonway






Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

The High Main, Splint, Three Quarter and Brockwell coal seams outcropped in Throckley, within The Duke of Northumberland’s Newburn Lordship. Active from the early 18th century, Throckley Colliery was fully developed by the partnership of Matthew Bell and William Brown from 1751. Three maps made over the 1760s and 70s show the dispersed pattern of coal pits in the colliery, typical of eighteenth-century mining, with waggonways branching to active pit heads within fields north-east of Throckley village and around Throckley Fell House (NRO: ZAN Bell M17/197/A (plan 24); NEIMME: Watson 23/21; Turnbull 2009, 125). The earliest of these maps, prepared for the Duke of Northumberland in 1767, shows a scatter of named pits with a waggonway forking and running to the Rose and Engine Pits. The two later maps (1770s) show a different arrangement of waggonways, with lines branching to Success, Pink, Rye, Wardle, New Engine, Queen and Rose Pits with many other, presumably disused, pit heads scattered across the fields. The waggonways were relatively insubstantial and relocated as needed in what must have been an active landscape. Both maps also show the ‘new engine’ draining the colliery, with a water channel running to Walbottle Dene. From the working area of the colliery, the waggonway ran down the western side of the dene, crossed the burn at Throckley Bridge and ran on for a distance before branching to run into staiths at Lemington. This line closed in 1780 when the colliery fell into disuse, although the lower part was taken up by other collieries. A number of pits in Throckley were opened again in the mid 19th century and a new route for the south part of the line (HER 4227) was established running to the river west of Lemington. This is shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey.




1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 96; Alan Williams Archaeology, 2012, Waggonways North of River Tyne, Tyne and Wear HER Enhancement Project; NRO: Plan of the Duke of Northumberland’s Lordship of Newburn 1767 Zan Bell M17/197/A plan 24; North East Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineering: All Watson Papers prefixed NRO/3410/ Watson 23/21: Estate plan of enclosed lands at Throckley, property of Greenwich Hospital, showing coal pits. 1781; Turnbull, L. 2009 Coals from Newcastle: An Introduction to the Northumberland and Durham Coalfield, p 125

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