Heaton Banks Colliery
5 Sept 2021
James Potts (1820s), Dalton & Co. (1850s)
Heaton Banks Colliery opened in 1736 and closed 1745. Heaton Main Colliery opened 1792. It was at the cutting edge of technical development and dominated the economy of the area. There were many associated pits to do with both collieries. C (HER 4151), D & E Pit (HER 4031) were opened in the early 19th century. At least two tragic accidents are recorded in 1812-5. On 3rd May 1815 old abandoned workings at Heaton Banks flooded and broke through into Heaton Pit. Whilst 30 men escaped, 75 men and boys were trapped in a blocked off tunnel. Three boys were aged seven or under. It took nine months to drain the mine and by the time they were reached in January 1816 they had starved to death or succumbed to the "foul air". They had, for a time lived off one of the two horses who had been trapped with them. The remains of 59 men and boys were laid to rest at St. Peter's Churchyard, Wallsend. At a later date the nearby spinney (former High Pit or E Pit) was planted in commemoration of the disaster, a tree for each life lost (see HER 4031). In 1868 Louis Simonin drew an etching called 'The Heaton flooding of 1815'. Closed 1852.
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