Seaton Burn Colliery
3 Sept 2021
18 Jul 2023
John Bowes & Co. (1888 - 1938), Hartley Main Collieries Ltd. (1938 - 1947), National Coal Board (1947 -)
Description (or HER record listing)
NEHL - Seaton Burn Colliery was opened in 1840 alongside a number of pitmens cottages to be let by the colliery. The colliery railway of three miles was also erected in the same year as per contemporary newspaper reports, as they were seeking railway contractors to complete the job. This may mean the pit was operating without a direct rail connection for at least a year.
The first reference to coal being sold from the colliery is in 1843, when 200 tons of West Hartley Coal from the pit was saved from the wreck of the Hanover.
The colliery can be seen on Ordnance Survey maps surveyed in 1858, nestled between the terraces of Seaton Burn. By this point there was a single track railway leading to the river, with at least half a dozen sidings at the complex. The pit village was already quite substantial with a methodist chapel and two sets of pit rows, with the original village to the south with The Bird public house and a Post Office.
At its peak in 1925, over 1200 worked at the site, meaning a high percentage of the local area will have worked at this pit. The environs had also expanded greatly by this time too, with a smithy, relocated mission church, another post office and at least 2 other permanent churches built here.
The pit closed in 1964 under the ownership of the NCB along with the railway. The railway is still traversable for much of its route.
Ordnance Survey, 1921
Seaton Burn Colliery, 1901. Source: Billy Embleton
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A later shot of Seaton Burn Colliery with pre-nationalisation wagons. Some chaldron waggons are also noted. Source: Northern Mines and Collieries
Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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