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Addison Colliery

Stella, Gateshead




Entry Created:

3 Sept 2021

Last Updated:

25 Aug 2023




Stella Coal Co. (1860s - 1947), National Coal Board (1947 -)

Description (or HER record listing)

Addison Colliery was the property of the Stella Coal Company, the pit being sunk in 1864. Addison Pit was situated close to the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway, to which it could be connected by a loop line.

The mine workings ran westwards because of a large geological fault east of Addison village. It was eventually possible to walk underground from Addison to Clara Vale Pit. The name Addison came from Mr Addison Potter, whose family was connected with Towneley Colliery. Mrs Addison Potter cut the first sod of the Addison Pit in an impressive ceremony on January 26th 1864.

Addison Pit was the first colliery in the world to have underground telephone. Experiments using Professor Graham Bell's telephone were carried out in 1877. It was connected to Hedgefield House in which John B. Simpson, one of the colliery directors, lived from 1864 to 1894.

The first offices of the Coal Company were rooms in Hedgefield House. In 1894 separate offices were built.Hedgefield House is now a hotel. In 1883 the output of coal was 120,000 tons, with about 500 men and boys employed. In 1894 the output of coal was 254,000 tons and 1,000 workmen. By 1923 the output was 1,058,740 tons with 5,500 workmen.

A little west of Addison Pit was an old shaft, formerly used as a pumping shaft to clear Stargate from water. The shafts at Addison were sunk in 1865 but coal was also drawn from two drift mines, the Kitty and Atkinson Drifts.

The winding engine was steam driven, installed by Sir William Armstrong of Elswick in 1864. In 1924 the Atkinson Drift was closed. It was later used as an air raid shelter in WW2. In 1946 there was an explosion in the pit which killed two people. The pit went into decline. The village was depopulated and finally abandoned in 1958. The houses were then demolished.

The pit finally closed in 1963.

Ordnance Survey, 1898

Ordnance Survey, 1898

Addison Pit, 1900s - Gateshead Libraries

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

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