Coal Pits, Marley Hill
Marley Hill, Gateshead
8 Sept 2021
Gentry coal estate owned by the Blakiston family. There was a broad but non-continuous belt of coal right across Whickham parish from the Derwent to Ravensworth, but the coal was too far away from the river to allow early exploitation. Most of the coal lay on Marley Hill and at West and East Gibside. The Blakistons were non-freemen, barred from the Hostmen's Company. They could work coal but could not sell it. The Blakistons were related to the Neville connexion and acquired their estates by marriage and became active industrialists. In the 1570s they acquired a long lease for the High Main outcrop at Gellsfield from the Bishop of Durham. In 1617 one of the Blakiston sons achieved admission to the Hostmen.
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