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Whitwell Colliery


54.759788, -1.519377

A Pit





Entry Created:

21 Jan 2022

Last Updated:

3 Aug 2023




Abraham Teasdale & Mrs Ann Wilkinson, Andrew White (1830s), JM Ogden (1850s)

Description (or HER record listing)

"This colliery is situated near the Durham and Sunderland Railway, about 2½ miles southeast from the city of Durham, and commands a splendid view of the beautiful cathedral, the castle, and the surrounding scenery of that ancient city. It comprises the whole of the extra-parochial place or township of Whitwell House, the property of the Master and Brethren of Sherburn Hospital, and is held by lease for three lives by John Gregson, Esq., of Shotton Hall. The colliery is carried on by the Messrs. Whites, Robson, and Ogden, under the firm of the Whitwell Coal Company, who lease it of Mr. Gregson for a term of years. The sinking of the A pit was commenced on May 2, 1836; and the Hutton seam was won on the 20th June, 1837, at the depth of 59 fathoms. The sinking of the B pit was completed to the Hutton seam, at the depth of 65 fathoms, in 1840. There are three workable seams in this royalty, all of which are of excellent quality."

- Extract of 'Views of the Collieries' (1844) retrieved from Durham Mining Museum

NEHL - The lumps and bumps in this field near Shincliffe come from a deserted colliery and pit village from the 19th century.

Whitwell Colliery operated between 1836 and 1875, and had its own pit rows and chapel exactly where i'm standing on the 1st pic. Pit heaps and disturbed land dot the landscape.

The colliery was originally a "landsale" colliery, but later became a "seasale". The two terms differentiate the distribution of the coal between local and national, i.e transported by sea. As it grew, pitmen were provided accommodation directly next to the pit instead of travelling.

I've attached one of the few illustrations of the pit and its related waggonway, as well as the 1890s map of the area which is slightly after it closed. The terraces did remain for a while longer. It's also on a public right of way, so def worth visiting if you're in the area.

Ordnance Survey, 1897

Ordnance Survey, 1897

Whitwell Colliery and the associated waggonway, undated

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Site of Whitwell Colliery in 2023

Site of Whitwell Colliery in 2023

Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

HER information as described above is reproduced under the basis the resource is free of charge for education use. It is not altered unless there are grammatical errors. 


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