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Tyne and Wear HER(4998): Fencehouses, Bournmoor Colliery, D Pit - Details

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Fencehouses, Bournmoor Colliery, D Pit




Coal Mining Site


Post medieval


Documentary Evidence

D Pit was working by 1791, and may have been sunk as early as 1789. The accounts of the various Lambton Colleries for 1792 indicated that D Pit coal was both the cheapest to produce and the cheapest to transport. The Main Seam however, would appear to have been almost wrought out by 1795 and the D Pit possibly laid in early in 1797. Two rows of props were installed in the D Pit shaft roof and a new set of pumps in the D Pit engine house in 1800. These improvements may have been in anticipation of reopening the pit. D Pit was working again by 1801/2. The pit is not recorded in the accounts for 1809 and is likely to have been laid in once more. It is likely that between 1808 and 1817 the mine was used for pumping rather than drawing coals. In 1815, whilst maintenance work was underway on one of the boilers at the D Pit, deposits of salt were discovered coating the inner surface. Similar discoveries at Lambton led to the discovery of a saline spring and the subsequent establishment of a salt works at nearby New Lambton. Plans may have been underway in 1816 to reopen the D Pit as a scheme was devised to drive a drift from Morton (HER 3140) in order to pump out the workings. This suggests that the D Pit engine was either out of commission or was not in a sufficient state of repair to undertake the task in isolation. In 1817 the engine house was demolished and a replacement erected. In 1818 D Pit was once again drawing coals, this time from the deeper Hutton Seam. The D Pit waggonway may have been abandoned at this stage in favour of a new arrangement linking it to the Lambton Railway (Lumley Branch) and the main Lambton Railway opened in 1819. D Pit may have been laid once more in 1821/2. The pit was certainly closed by 1823 and the engine is likely to have been used exclusively for pumping. Around 1854 a new pit was superimposed on the D Pit and coal production was resumed. Considerable investment had been made in developing the mine by 1856/7. The old arrangement of the D Pit was replaced by new buildings, including a new engine house erected on the south side of the shaft. A group of at least 19 buildings had been built to the north, arranged in a rectangle so enclosing a central yard. These are likely to be houses with gardens on south and east sides. The Lambton Railway had been extended with the addition of the Lambton Railway D Pit Branch linking the D Pit and Lady Ann Pit (HER 3141) to the Lumley Branch. A photographic album of the Lambton estate compiled by F Depeaux in 1891 includes views of the D Pit. By 1895 a new engine house had been erected at D Pit with ancillary buildings. The D Pit Branch of the Lambton Railway was abandoned. By 1940 a new engine house and several buildings were erected at the D Pit. In 1965 D Pit closed for the final time.




<< HER 4998 >> Lancaster University Archaeological Unit, 1999, Lambton Cokeworks, Sunderland J. Nolan & A. Durkin, 1995, A Wooden Colliery Wagonway at the former Bournmoor D Pit, Sunderland I. Ayris, J. Nolan & A. Durkin, 1998, The Archaeological Excavation of Wooden Waggonway Remains at Lambton, Industrial Archaeology Review, Vol XX, p 5-22 Northern Archaeological Associates, 2001, Sunderland Central Route, Multi Modal Study, Cultural Heritage Chapter PLB Consulting Ltd, 1998, Wooden Wagonway at Lambton Cokeworks Bullen Consultants, 2003, Lambton Coke Works, Archaeological Assessment

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