Tyne and Wear HER(4831): Newcastle, Town Moor and Hunter's Moor, medieval coal mining - Details
Newcastle, Town Moor and Hunter's Moor, medieval coal mining
Coal Mining Site
An area of possible bell pits can be seen between Ponteland Road and the dual carriageway to Cowgate. Prior to building an extension to the motorway spur from the City motorway/Grandstand Road junction to Ponteland Road, coal was extracted in 100 x 30 metre blocks by an opencast contractor from Nottinghamshire. The site was examined 3 weeks after initial top soil stripping just as the first pillar and stall was found in block No.1. The exposed pillar and stall was unusual in that only 50% of the coal had been mined with relatively narrow stalls and wide pillars. Cross passages linked the stalls which were arranged parallel on a north-east to south-west alignment. Where the stalls entered the unmined sections they continued as tunnels in which pit props of soft wood were randomly placed. The floor was littered with fallen blocks in places but was otherwise as the miners had left it. Tool marks could be seen in 6 walls of the stalls. Three pit props in reasonably good condition were salvaged. According to an experienced miner on site, there were signs of combustion in some of the stalls (white/blue ashy deposit on the walls). Features seen included the following: a wet low-lying area full of timber, black soil and rubbish infill; a possible shaft head 11 metresetres in diameter filled with domestic rubbish (pot, clay pipes, iron, burnt coal and ash); a spread of black ashy deposit; the top of a possible shaft 16 metres in diameter filled with black ash.
<< HER 4831 >> Pers comm. C. Lofthouse, 1997 I. Ayris & S.M. Linsley, 1994, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Tyne and Wear, p 39 RCHME, 1995, Town Moor, Newcastle upon Tyne, Archaeological Survey Report, p 22-30 E.M. Halcrow, 1953, The Town Moor of Newcastle upon Tyne, Archaeologia Aeliana, 4, XIII, pp 149-164