Tyne and Wear HER(4149): Heaton Colliery - Details
Coal Mining Site
A Coal Shaft, marked as Old on the 1st edition OS mapping, so was out of use by 1858. This is the headstock of Heaton Pit. Heaton Colliery opened in 1736. There were three associated pits - C Pit (HER 4151), E Pit (HER 4031) and Fortune Pit (HER 1767 - opened in 1736). At least two tragic accidents are recorded in 1812-5. On 3rd May 1815 Heaton Pit flooded and whilst 30 men escaped, 75 men and boys were trapped in a blocked off tunnel. It took nine months to drain the mine and by the time they were reached in February 1816 they had starved to death or succembed to the "foul air". They had, for a time lived off one of the two horses who had been trapped with them. The remains of 59 men and boys were laid to rest at St. Peter's Churchyard, Wallsend. At a later date the nearby spinney (former High Pit or E Pit) was planted in commemoration of the disaster, a tree for each life lost (see HER 4031).
<< HER 4149 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 97; Durham Mining Museum www.dmm.org.uk; W. Richardson, History of Wallsend, p 235; Newcastle City Library Local Studies Section, newspaper cuttings in "Heaton" file; Roy Thompson, 2004, Thunder Underground - Northumberland Mine Disasters 1815-65, pp 50 and 64-65; Louis Simonin, 1868, Of Mines and Miners; Whellan's Directory, 1855