Tyne and Wear HER(4210): Walker, Gosforth Pit Wagonway - Details
Walker, Gosforth Pit Wagonway
A Wagonway, marked as 'Old' on the 1st edition OS mapping, so was out of use by 1858. Excavations by Pre-Construct Archaeology between 2009 and 2011 recorded evidence of this waggonway. It ran from Gosforth Pit (HER 4184) of Walker Colliery to the River Tyne. There was a substantial NW-SE aligned clay trackbed embankment and trackside ditches. No timbers survived. The waggonway crossed the dene of a tributary of the Stott's Burn. The maximum recorded width of the embankment was 6.5m but the full width was not exposed. The embankment had a gentle gradient to ensure the efficient operation of the waggonway. Linear impressions infilled with coal and ash indicated the positions of timbers. The parallel trackside ditches were aligned NW-SE and may have been associated with the earliest phase of the waggonway. They drained the trackway and delineated the wayleave corridor. The north-eastern side of the waggonway was bounded by a U-shaped ditch which was later recut. In part of the site the embankment was overlain by crushed coal and ash deposits which raised the height and widened the embankment. Two sub-rectangular postholes possibly formed a fenceline. Seven upright timber stakes and a stakehole in two rows may represent a timber revetment. A group of postholes including a row in a NNE-SSW alignment may have formed part of a bridge over the trackside ditches. The waggonway embankment and trackside features were overlain by successive colliery waste deppsoits up to 1.2m thick, representing C19 to early C20 levelling. The 1908 OS map shows a road running through the site, along the line of the former waggonway and skirting the Walker Refuse Destructor Building. The road was created by dumping colliery waste over the disused embankment.
1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 98; Jennifer Proctor, 2013, Waggonways and brickworks: insights into the industrial heritage of Walker, Archaeologia Aeliana, Fifth Series, Volume 42, pp 269-304