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South Benwell, coal pit


54.966935, -1.666535





Entry Created:

4 Jun 2024

Last Updated:

4 Jun 2024




Description (or HER record listing)

NEHL - This is one of a large number of bell pits and deeper workings illustrated on a survey of the Manor of Benwell in 1637. By 1611, Benwell was one of the most important mining areas on Tyneside. By this year, there were 22 working pits in 7 different collieries which extended as deep as 192 ft, giving an impression it was more than just a pit. Within the next twenty years, an entire hierachy of viewers, hewers, bankmen and overmen developed into a recognisable colliery structure.

These pits were likely owned by the partnership of Newcastle Hostmen - Sir Peter Riddle, Thomas Surtees, Robert Shaftoe Snr & Jnr, William Hodgson, Henry Chapman and William Jennison. Richard Richardson also opened a number of pits at Stumplewood nr Benwell. One pit produced around 15,000 tons annually in these days, which only intensified by the 1660s with pits sprawling both the freehold and copyhold lands.

This specific pit was one situated in freehold lane east of East Benwell Dene. It was situated on a lane leading to a staith on the river. There was one other coal pit in the same parcel of land.

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

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