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Tyne and Wear HER(8415): Blaydon Burn, coal screens - Details

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Blaydon Burn, coal screens

Blaydon Burn



Coal Mining Site

Coal Screen




To the south of the lower railhead (14) are a series of structures, the most notable of which is a large section of retaining wall showing numerous phases of build and contruction types (Plate 15). This wall, which includes a number of arched openings and cast-iron pipework, cannot be related to any pre-1919 mapping and most probably was associated with the coal screens out to the northeast. However it has not proved possible to ascribes functions to the specific parts of the surviving remains. The earliest phase of construction (15a) is that at the western end of the site, adjacent to the road. This is very similar in form to the corresponding wall on the upper terrace associated with the earlier railhead (2), and may have been built at the same time (although it does not appear on the earlier mapping). Alternatively this structure may relate to the earlier mill pond and dam recorded in this area (13). It is very different in build from those structures further to the east and was constructed of fairly evenly coursed sandstone rubble with some areas of larger, more formal blocks. There are a number of areas of brick infill where the underlying structure has fallen away and a distinct edge on the eastern side of 15a which is marked by alternating sandstone blocks. The joint here slopes slightly, being broader at the base than the top,this may indicate that the wall originally turned here. A marked scar on the stonework run diagonally from top to bottom along the face of the wall, which could be uneven presevation of the mortar caused by the growth of ivy or a similar creeper, or may indicate the presence of an earlier ramp. There was is also a vertical scar, measuring approximately 0.5m across running from the top of the wall to the top of the diagonal scar (Figure 14). Approximately halfway across the wall and 2m above ground level is a concrete beam which appears to run diagionally back into the bank; this had been cut off, presumably when the site was dismantled. The wall served to retain the rear bank and included at least three drainage holes at the western end, it measures just under 12m long and stands to a height of 4m. The wall has been heightened by the addition of two courses of brick at a later date (15d) and then again by a red brick wall which stand to a height of just over a metre (15e). This wall includes a rectangular opening on the western side, set with wooden post and an iron girder (sawn off) at the eastern end. Abutting this phase of build is a section of brick wall measuring 6m long and 4m high (15b), this was constructed of mixed brick including some firebrick (Plate 15). The bricks are coursed three stretchers to one header and include a line of headers bricks at the top, above which is the later brick extension associated with 15d. At the base of the wall is a square apeture measuring 0.50m and approximately 0.70m deep with a steel plate above. At the eastern end of this section the brick joint is slightly rebated. The return wall turned here running south to the rear of the structure. To the east lay a further section of brick walling (15c), measuring 2.5m long and 5m high and constructed of red brick laid in stretcher bond with a line of header bricks at the top. This section of wall features a narrow arch, just under a metre across, capped with three strings of header bricks (Plate 16). The arch has been infilled with yellow brick, of the same type as used in the adjacent structure to the east, and probably date to the construction of this feature. The final phase of build is at the eastern end of the structure (Plate 16) and comprises a section of brick walling above a concrete base. It includes a second arch, slightly wider than the first (1.20m), which remains open but includes a cast rion pipe running from front to back. The was predominately constructed of firebrick bonded three lines of stretcher to one header. This build continues up above the earlier pha




Northern Archaeological Associates & Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 2005, Blaydon Burn, Gateshead - Archaeological Desk Based Assessment and Building Survey of Industrial Structures

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