Tyne and Wear HER(4248): Westerhope, Whindykes Quarry - Details
Westerhope, Whindykes Quarry
Stone Extraction Site
This area was one of significant 18th century coal extraction. As a result, this portion of what was once the Whorlton Estate is littered with old shafts and crossed by wagonways. However, there has also been other industrial activity - the quarrying of the Whinstone Outcrop or Dyke being the most noticeable. The geological formations in this area have allowed easy access to the coal measures. However, an intrusion of whinstone interupts this. The existence of such an outcrop usually makes the coal measures immediately surrounding the intrusion difficult to mine because the heat from the rock formation renders the coal measures into coke. So the industrial activity in this area was quarrying of whinstone rather then mining of coal. Quarrying was underway by 1847 when the outcrop was called the Coally Hill Dyke. The name is reflected in modern names of Coley Hill Farm and Whindykes. By 1858 a small structure, possibly a pump house to help the draining of the quarry had been built at the end of the footpath across Colt Holes (HER ref. 1589). This quarrying enterprise was only a 19th century phenomenon, limited in its lifespan by the relatively small nature of the whinstone outcrop. The quarry was filled-in during the late 20thcentury.
<< HER 4248 >> 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map, 1898, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 88, SW I. Ayris, 1986, Stamfordham Road/Whindykes Area, Industrial Archaeological Assessment; Whorlton Tithe Map 1847 (Woodhorn NRO DT 509 M)