Prior Close, coal workings
22 Dec 2021
HER Info (unless otherwise noted)
This is the site of a wood-lined shaft marked on the first edition Ordnance Survey map surveyed in 1857 and referred to then as an "Old" working. The shaft was exposed in section during open cast coal extraction in 1996 as part of the Priors Close open cast site. The shaft was cut through approximately twelve to fourteen metres of sandstone and where it entered loose shale and coal was lined with timber. No attempt had been made to mine this topmost, poor quality coal seam. Timber work was set into the rock face and consisted of circular braces supporting vertically set timbers. Behind these timbers on one side was a purposefully made 0.40metre square channel running from top to bottom of shaft. For safety reasons no further observations of the shaft were made and it is unclear to what depth it penetrated. Although abandoned by 1857 the shaft is almost certainly post medieval.
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Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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