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Tyne and Wear HER(6852): Rainton Bridge, North Pit Farm - Details

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Rainton Bridge, North Pit Farm

Rainton Bridge


Agriculture and Subsistence



Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

A long east-west block and a smaller building are shown on a plan of 1777{NRO 578/321}. On 3rd November 1823 two victims of an explosion of fire-damp at Plains Pit (HER 3198) were "John Hann and son, hewer and putter, Mitchinson's Farm, probably North Pit Farm. The tithe map of 1839 {DRO EP/ER/27/2} describes the site as "Farm Homestead". By 1856 (OS first edition) North Pit Farm had changed little in plan. It was occupied by Thomas Mitcheson, yeoman {Whellan 1856, 774-5}. The farm continued in use, with changes of tenancy, throughout the nineteenth century. In the 1868/9 elections, two John Hutchinsons (father and son), farmers at North Pit Farm, voted for George Elliot of Houghton Hall {Poll Book of North Durham 1868/9}. Between 1856 and 1895 the farm was enlarged, with new buildings to the north and south of the earlier ranges and a pond on the east side of the track. This may have been a consequence of the decline of North Pit (HER 3197), with more land avaible for agriculture. The farm was occupied in 1906 by George Anthony Hardy {Kelly 1906, 311}. By 1938 North Pit Farm was being run by Margaret, Norah and Dorothy Hardy {Kelly 1938}. The farm continued in use until the 1980s and was demolished circa 2001. In June and July 2001, a trench was excavated over the farm buildings in advance of the Rainton Bridge South Business Park. The remains were found to have been rebuilt using modern materials. To the north of the main range, sandstone wall foundations and a cobbled yard were recorded. To the south, evidence of a post-built timber building, probably a lean-to.




<< HER 6852 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1861, 6 inch scale, Durham 20; Northern Counties Archaeological Services and Timescape Services, 2001 "Rainton Bridge South, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland - Desk-Based Assessment and Geophysical Survey of the Archaeological Potential"; Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd for Geoquest Associates, 2001, "An Archaeological Evaluation at Rainton Bridge South, Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear"; Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd, 2003, "An Archaeological Excavation at Rainton Bridge South, Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear"; Gavin Glover, 2005, "Rainton Bridge South Waggonway", Industrial Archaeology Review, XXVII: 2, pp 235-244; Hetton Local & Natural History Society, 2015, The Hetton Village Atlas

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