Old Engine Pit
3 Sept 2021
14 Jul 2023
Description (or HER record listing)
It is unclear on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey plan whether this pit was working when surveyed c.1855. The engine house, known as Kenton Tower was something of a landmark until demolished in 1928. It was built to house the Newcomen pumping engine which helped to drain the pit.
NEHL - The Old Engine Pit is extant on the Ordnance Survey from 1864, surveyed in 1858. 1 small rectangular ancillary building is shown alongside a shed type structure at the heap. It was clear this was a fairly basic pit, with no railway connection nor formal road. It likely carried coals via wagon over Nuns Moor as per the footpath shown on the map.
The pit was potentially owned by the Brandlings, providing the site its own Newcomen Engine. It was also linked with what was potentially the worlds oldest underground railway from Kenton to Scotswood, though this was out of use by the 1850s. The Brandling's tested one of Blenkinsopp's at Kenton in the 1830s, probably in the tunnel.
The old engine cottages and tower remained in situ into the 1890s, with the tower remaining until 1928. The area is covered with residential property these days. The actual pit was covered in wood by 1944, as per aerial imagery.
Ordnance Survey, 1864
Aerial photograph of Kenton in 1944, with the pit being the circular wooded area. Source: Historic England Archive (RAF photography) Historic England Photograph: raf_106g_dy_19_v_60169 flown 18/09/1944
Have we missed something, made a mistake, or have something to add? Contact us
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.
Historic Maps provided by