Tyne and Wear HER(5960): Stella Grand Lease Way - Details
Stella Grand Lease Way
In the 1630s the Ship Tax returns show that Stella Grand Lease Colliery was the third largest colliery on the south bank of the Tyne, behind Whickham Grand Lease and Winlaton. It too had a pre-Civil War waggonway. The freehold belonged to the Tempest family, but outside the manor much of the land belonged to the Bishops of Durham. The bishopric commons had not been included in the Grand Lease yet their Ryton royalty was known as ‘Grand Lease Stella’. An assessment of Stella Grand Lease in 1636 suggests the waggonway had already been built; it had an annual value of £1700 and a production well over 2000T. Mention of ‘Kiofield’ in a lease (DUPD CC 184961/617) has led to the suggestion the way existed as far as Kyo, south-east of Ryton and over three miles from Stella staiths, from the beginning but there is no proof of its having been so extensive before 1660. The way was probably built by Henry Maddison and his associates although an earliest date for its construction is unknown. The Strathmore plan of no later than 1728 bears the legend ‘…Stella Grand Lease Waggon way was the first way that was laid in the River Tyne about Ninety Years ago by Robt Sanderson Esqr.’ that is, sometime in the 1630s. A latest date can be set by a case of 1653 and colliery accounts (C10 30/156; ZCO IV 47/1). Accounts in the 1670s show the output form Stella was about 2500T a year and this may have been the average traffic of the Way since its beginning. An archaeological evaluation at Landscape Terrace, Greenside, in 2013 by ARS Ltd. Revealed the graded impressions of timber sleepers and the remains of a drainage gully associated with the Stella Grand Lease Way. The waggonway would have consisted of a series of roughly hewn, rounded timber sleepers measuring c.1.8m x 0.2m laid into the natural substrate at intervals of c.0.65m. These would have been used to support timber rails forming an E-W aligned waggonway. The waggonway had a shallow drainage gully on its south side with a depth of 0.04m and this was backed by a low bank that survives to a height of 0.4m. The waggonway remains were buried 0.55m bgl.
<< HER 5960 >> G. Bennett, E. Clavering & A. Rounding, 1990, A Fighting Trade - Rail Transport in Tyne Coal 1600-1800 T.J. Taylor, 1858 The Archaeology of the Coal Trade, p 33 A. Williams, 2004, A Fighting Trade - Review and mapping of routes; unpublished document for Tyne & Wear Heritage Environment Record; Archaeological Research Services Ltd. 2013, Land adjacent to Landscape Terrace, Greenside, Tyne and Wear, Archaeological Evaluation; Alan Williams Archaeology, 2013, Waggonways to the South Bank of the River Tyne and to the River Wear; Turnbull, 2012, Railways before George Stephenson, (entry 69) 154, 171; TWA: CK/11/56