Tyne and Wear HER(4971): North Hylton, Wood House railway incline - Details
North Hylton, Wood House railway incline
An old railway incline runs from Wood House (HER ref. 4970) to the River Wear. There is an engine winding house and a sequence of cells for loading waggons. The railway incline proceeds south-east, firstly as a cutting in the earth, then under a surviving masonry arch bridge, and then in a rock-cutting with some retaining walls down to the Wearside quayside level. Alongside the railway there is an old quarry site, now grown over with trees, and at the foot of the incline there are other structures including a chimney. There is also evidence of a tunnel. The incline is the most striking surviving feature of the area. The steep gully was probably constructed initially to convey sandstone from the mid 19th century quarry along a narrow gauge railway to the River Wear for use in the local building industry. As it became inceasingly harder to haul the stone over the lip of the quarry a tunnel was dug (c. 1.6 metres wide and 1.8 metres high) to transport the stone under the quarry face and down to the riverside. The tunnel has now been filled in for safety reasons. Later the gully was extended and the quarry line was replaced by a standard gauge line from Wood House to the Wear. The coal fired steam winding engine hauled materials up the incline and deposited them in the cells below.
<< HER 4971 >> I.M. Ayris, 1987, High Woods - History and Industrial Development I. Ayris & S.M. Linsley, 1994, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Tyne and Wear, p 81