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Medieval Coal Mine, Town Moor





Entry Created:

3 Sept 2021

Last Updated:

8 Sept 2021




Description (or HER record listing)

An area of possible bell pits can be seen between Ponteland Road and the dual carriageway to Cowgate. Prior to building an extension to the motorway spur from the City motorway/Grandstand Road junction to Ponteland Road, coal was extracted in 100 x 30 metre blocks by an opencast contractor from Nottinghamshire. The site was examined 3 weeks after initial top soil stripping just as the first pillar and stall was found in block No.1. The exposed pillar and stall was unusual in that only 50% of the coal had been mined with relatively narrow stalls and wide pillars. Cross passages linked the stalls which were arranged parallel on a north-east to south-west alignment. Where the stalls entered the unmined sections they continued as tunnels in which pit props of soft wood were randomly placed. The floor was littered with fallen blocks in places but was otherwise as the miners had left it. Tool marks could be seen in 6 walls of the stalls. Three pit props in reasonably good condition were salvaged. According to an experienced miner on site, there were signs of combustion in some of the stalls (white/blue ashy deposit on the walls). Features seen included the following: a wet low-lying area full of timber, black soil and rubbish infill; a possible shaft head 11 metresetres in diameter filled with domestic rubbish (pot, clay pipes, iron, burnt coal and ash); a spread of black ashy deposit; the top of a possible shaft 16 metres in diameter filled with black ash.

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

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