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Tyne and Wear HER(5156): Clara Vale, Colliery Village - Details

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Clara Vale, Colliery Village

Clara Vale




Model Settlement

Early Modern



From the mid 19th century onwards some coal companies prided themselves on building model villages and houses for their workers. These were villages laid out to allow good light and ventilation to the terraces of houses, to encourage better health and sanitation and provide either allotments or gardens. The houses were of a higher standard agricultural workers housing or tenements but retained the marked distinctions between those for the surface and face workers and those for the deputies; and beyond those for the higher pit officials. A typical example is Clara Vale, which has retained the form of the colliery village as developed in the years immediately following the sinking of the mine in 1893. Until 1893, when Clara Vale pit was sunk, the village site was only occupied by Crawcrook corn mill (HER 3304) and its pond and Stanner House. By 1914 the village was much the same as it is today. Terraced housing is in brick and stone, the former school (now community centre) in white colliery brick with horizontal bands of red brick and Welsh slate roof. The Mining Institute and Mission Room have been demolished. The former Co-op survives at the west end of the village, built of characteristirc red brick. Further west are the red brick Edington Cottages. The Methodist Church is the most architecturally distinguished building in the village, built of squared rubble and slate and dated 1908. The entrance elevation has a window with simplified Perpendicular tracery and simple art nouveau glazing. In style the building has hints of Edwardian baroque. Next door is the Sunday School, corrugated iron with porch and rectangular hoodmoulded window openings and painted green. There is little sign of the Clara Vale Pit Yard today, but the pit-head baths (HER 5098) survive and the former fire station in the same banded brick as the school survives. The pit yard is now a nature reserve. CONSERVATION AREA




<< HER 5156 >> I. Ayris & S.M. Linsley, 1994, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Tyne and Wear, p 73 Gateshead Council, 1999, Clara Vale Conservation Area, Character Statement

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