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Montague Main Colliery


54.971497, -1.695322

View Pit





Entry Created:

25 Aug 2023

Last Updated:

25 Aug 2023




William Benson & Sons (1860s - 1947), National Coal Board (1947 -)

Description (or HER record listing)

Montague Colliery, opened 1750, closed 1959. Opened by William Benson, then owned by William Benson & Sons and from 1947, The National Coal Board.

See also HER 4289 (Caroline Pit). On 30 March 1925, an inrush of water from the old Paradise Pit killed 38 miners. There is a memorial to the victims in St. John's Cemetery, Elswick, where 32 of the miners are buried. The entrance to Kitty's Drift (underground railway, HER 6959) was close to View Pit.

The Mickley Coal Company therefore utilised part of Kitty's Drift in the 1930s to take coal from Caroline Pit (HER 4289) to the screens at the closed View Pit.

Originally Kitty's Drift used a massive steam winder to haul the tubs the 2.5 miles to the View Pit screens, but in 1933 this was replaced by a 250 horsepower electric winder. The Fan Pit Level Drift, which was 980 yards long, carried tubs from the shaft up to Kitty's Drift and on to View Pit. This created a complex and extensive underground endless rope haulage system in places up to 6 miles in length. The Montague Colliery (and therefore Kitty's Drift) closed in 1959.

NEHL - The Caroline Pit in its later years made use of the screens at the closed View Pit via Kittys Drift. Much of the colliery's work was completed down here, in conjunction with its Montague Brick Works on the riverside.

Ordnance Survey, 1898

Ordnance Survey, 1898

Aerial imagery from 1940s, showing the View Pit complex which was by this point closed. Source: Google Earth

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

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