3 Sept 2021
9 May 2023
Description (or HER record listing)
NEHL - The Church Pit was formerly operated as Earsdon Colliery from 1838 until 1846. At this time it was a relatively small working connected to the Holywell branch of the Backworth Waggonway via a small curving spur. This was disconnected soon after closure, but can still be seen on the 1865 Ordnance Survey map of the area. There was around 5 ancillary buildings connected to the ancient path between Backworth and Earsdon.
This was the sister pit of the Duke & Duchess Pit which stood south west closer to Backworth.
It reopened in the 1890s under the guise of Backworth Colliery, with a new branch deriving from Earsdon Junction next to the Abbey Shot Factory. It was able to go via both the main Blyth & Tyne line to Percy Main and the Backworth Colliery Railway through West Allotment. The later iteration was substantially bigger, with a pit pond and larger buildings typical of a modern colliery. It lasted 40 years, though several buildings remain including the sub station, offices and the pithead baths.
Ordnance Survey, 1898
Postcard of Church Pit, undated
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One of the surviving colliery buildings.
Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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