Tyne and Wear HER(4024): Gosforth Colliery, Mary and Fanny Pits - Details
Gosforth Colliery, Mary and Fanny Pits
Coal Mining Site
Gosforth Colliery, Mary and Fanny Pits. There was also a West Pit and Brandling Pit. Marked as Disused on the 2nd edition OS mapping, so were out of use by 1895. Gosforth Colliery was opened by Rev. RH Brandling. It was then run by the executors of Messrs Brandling, then by Bowes Hatt & Co and finally by John Bowes & Partners. The first shaft was sunk here in 1825 but coal was not "won" until 31 January 1829 when a "good seam" was finally located. This had been at great expense - the High Main seam was inclined by a dyke, the shaft therefore had to be sunk to 181 fathoms to reach good quality coal. Then a horizontal drift 700 yards long was worked through the dyke to the seam, excavating through solid rock. There were two shafts with a pumping engine and a wagonway 3.5 miles long to the Tyne. The wagons were pulled by fixed engines. In celebration a grand subterranean ball was held for the workmen. The "ballroom" was 1100ft (335m) below ground and was built in an L shape 15ft (4.5m) wide. Seats were placed in the room, which was illuminated by lamps and candles. Cold punch and malt liquor was provided and music played by the Coxlodge band. The ball started at 9.30am with dancing commencing at 3pm. Up to 300 workers attended. Gosforth Colliery was sold in the 1850s when the Brandling family got into financial difficulties and was forced to sell off much of their estates.
<< HER 4024 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 88; www.dmm.org.uk; TH Hair, 1884, Views of the Colleries in the Counties of Northumberland and Durham; R. Welford, 1879, A History of the Parish of Gosforth, pp 48-49; Durham County Record Office, Plan of the Northumberland Coalfield D/LO/P249; Plan of Gosforth Colliery, D/St/C3/4/12; Plan of Gosforth coal workings, 1822, NCB/I/P64