Tyne and Wear HER(6995): Silksworth Colliery - Details
Coal Mining Site
Opened in 1869, closed 6 November 1971. North Pit was at NZ 376 540. Opened by Lord Londonderry, subsequently owned by Londonderry Colleries Ltd, then Lambton and Hetton Colleries Ltd, from 1934 the Lambton Hetton and Joicey Colleries Ltd, and from 1947, the National Coal Board. In 1894 there were 2000 workers at the colliery producing up to 2500 tons of coal a day, which was shipped at Sunderland Docks. Near to the colliery were a few houses for the colliery officials. New Silksworth became a populous colliery village with shops, schools and chapels, and superior housing to the older colliery villages. Residents were able to get brakes and buses to Sunderland as there was no railway connection. The Marquis of Londonderry built a colliery school in 1875 for 290 boys and 290 girls and 270 infants. There were houses for the master and mistress. Work started in April 1893 on the miner's hall in Blind Lane. It was a spacious brick building with stone facings in an Italian style. It included a large lecture hall with gallery and stage, "well lit and tastefully decorated" to seat 900. There were also billiard, reading and recreational rooms. The hall cost £3300.
Durham Mining Museum, www.dmm.org.uk; Caleb Palmely 1893, "The Method of Working at Wearmouth and Silksworth Collieries" in "The Colliery Manager's Handbook" 1893; Norman Emery, 1998, Banners of the Durham Coalfield; Colliery Engineering June 1935, "Dry Cleaning at Silksworth Colliery"; Whellan, 1894, Directory of County Durham