Tyne and Wear HER(4179): Little Benton, William or Billy Pit - Details
Little Benton, William or Billy Pit
Coal Mining Site
Billy Pit (Coal). The William Pit had been sunk by 1st May 1802. Tha land on which the pit was sunk belonged to Sit Thomas Henry Liddell and partners and was called 'Low Henry's Well'. The field was leased by Matthew Bell and partners, owners of the Willington Colliery, at £60 per year. From the outset the William Pit used the Bigges Main Waggonway to transport coal to the staithes at Wallsend. In 1803, 18,378 chaldrons were carried from William Pit along the waggonway. Production at the William Pit during the early 19th century provided 80% of the coal produced by Willington Colliery. The pit is recorded as being 154m deep reaching the High Main Seam. The 1842 tithe plan shows one pithead building presumably the engine house. It does not show other associated features which would have been present at the time e.g. horse gins and sinding gear. The pit ceased production in 1843. Following the closure of the pit the shaft was retained as an air shaft. The shaft entrance was surrounded by a 6 foot high brick wall. A substantial spoil heap at William Pit is illustrated on the 1859 First Edition Ordnance Survey plan. This plan also shows that the pithead structures had already been demolished by this date. The shaft was filled in in 1960 and capped with concrete in 1970. An evaluation in 2013 revealed that the majority of colliery structures and waste heap appear to have been removed prior to unofficial use as a tip during the 1970s and 80s.
<< HER 4179 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1865, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 89; W.G. Elliott, Bygone Days of Longbenton, Benton, Forest Hall, West Moor, Killingworth, Palmersville and Benton Square, Book Two, p 31; W.G. Elliott and Edwin Smith, Bygone Days of Longbenton, Benton, Forest Hall, West Moor and Killingworth, pp 40-41; Northern Archaeological Associates, 2013, Billy Pit Colliery, Longbenton, North Tyneside, Archaeological Evaluation; Northern Archaeological Associates, 2013, Billy Pit Colliery, Longbenton, North Tyneside, Archaeological Assessment