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Benwell Colliery


54.967331, -1.643412

Lead Pit





Entry Created:

4 Jun 2024

Last Updated:

4 Jun 2024




Description (or HER record listing)

NEHL - Benwell and Elswick were a coal mining centre in the 17th and 18th century. Pits were strewn across the valley down to the Tyne, and the Benwell Colliery were the clear benefactors of mechanisation and intensive mining practices.

In the 1720s, there was a clear coordination and modernisation of colliery workings, with water powered machinery and connections between the smaller pits. At this time also they were flourishing, with up to 17,000 chaldrons of coal vended from Benwell staith in 1709 with a steady increase over the decade prior. By this time pits were linked by "coal ways" - avenues specifically maintained to transport coal to and from the staiths. The main staith was the Meadow Heads Staith which was opposite the east of Kings Meadow Island, situated on what would now be Amethyst Road at the old Armstrong Works.

Lead Pit was one of around 8 in a piece of freehold lane on the "new coal way", forged to link the pits to the staiths on the Tyne in the early 18th century. The Lead Pit was the most north easterly of the set.

The plan can be seen in "Ownership, Technology and Patterns of Coalmining Activity in Northumberland between 1600 and 1850" by Stephen James Telford.

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

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