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Springwell Colliery







Entry Created:

3 Sept 2021

Last Updated:

4 Jul 2023




Lord Ravensworth (1824), John Bowes & Co. (1850s), Marley Hill Coal Co. (1860s), John Bowes & Partners Ltd. (1880s), Washington Coal Company Ltd (1940 - 1970)

Description (or HER record listing)

Springwell Colliery was sunk in 1824 and opened by Lord Ravensworth and Partners.

In January 1826 it was the hub of George Stephenson's system of rail and tramways, linking the north Durham coalfield with the Tyne. It passed to John Bowes and Partners from January 1850. Its coal was mainly used to make gas. The colliery closed in 1932.

The shaft was deepened in 1934-5 and a new engine house and headgear built, but production did not resume. In 1940 the shaft was sold to the Washington Coal Company Ltd for ventilation purposes, and finally closed in 1970.

Surviving colliery features include the unique survival of a colliery courtyard surrounded by a fine group of 1830-40s stone built workshops (one with its original blacksmiths range), a stone built office range, heavily buttressed stone built coal store later converted into wagon and locomotive workshop serving the railway, a rare 1920s electricity substation, built to supply the colliery and railway, still operational with its original 1920s equipment. The site is nationally important for its incline railway features and surviving colliery buildings.

NEHL - Much of Springwell Village grew thanks to the pit. At least 4 rows of pit terraces were located in the south west corner of the pit, as well as a Wesleyan Chapel, post office, schools and public houses constructed to provide amenity to the pitmen and their families. A quarry was also located just south of the pit.

Ordnance Survey, 1898

Ordnance Survey, 1898

Springwell Colliery, date unknown. Source: Suscram

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Springwell Colliery in 2023

Springwell Colliery in 2023

Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

HER information as described above is reproduced under the basis the resource is free of charge for education use. It is not altered unless there are grammatical errors. 


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