Tyne and Wear HER(5927): Newcastle, Town Moor, pillar-and-stall mine shaft - Details
Newcastle, Town Moor, pillar-and-stall mine shaft
Mine Drainage and Ventilation Site
A large irregular mound of spoil measuring 20 metres across surrounding a central hollow which is 0.4 metres deep. The feature could be spoil from a shaft head although two blocks of intersecting ridge-and-furrow and their associated headlands confuse the picture. A very low bank, measuring 0.2 metres high, is attached to the base of the spoil heap and encloses a roughly circular piece of ground to the south-east. This bank overlies the ridge-and-furrow and seems to be contemporary with the mound suggesting that the mound is later than the ridge-and-furrow. The use of pillar-and-stall mining (cutting horizontal headings out of the bottom of the shaft, leaving pillars of coal to support the roof) meant shafts could be spaced wider apart. The best example of a widely spaced grid pattern of shafts on the Town Moor is on Nuns Moor, where four shaft heads form a square pattern. These shaft heads have larger spoil heaps than the Bell Pits, indicating deeper shafts and a later mining episode. A diagnostic feature of the landscape indicating pillar-and-stall mining is the subsidence of the surrounding ground surface, due to the caving in of the galleries especially after the removal of the roof supports. Such areas of mining subsidence effect large areas of the Moor.
<< HER 5927 >> RCHME, 1995, Town Moor, Newcastle upon Tyne, Archaeological Survey Report, p 29