3 Sept 2021
26 Jan 2023
Carr & Co. (1850s), Cowpen & North Seaton Coal Co. (1860s), National Coal Board (1947 -)
Description (or HER record listing)
NEHL - This is the site of Isabella Pit, part of the larger Cowpen colliery. It was sunk in 1848 and was worked until 1966. Before the railway line expanded north for the Bates Colliery in the 1930s, the Isabella Pit had a small branch leading to the two shafts it worked on the edge of the current wooded area. There were around four sidings extending to the north of the site, adjacent to a number of small terraces which may have pre-dated this pit. There was a large reservoir, as well as three rows of terraced houses, providing accomodation to workers and their families. In the 19th century, the pit was fairly isolated between Newsham and Blyth so a village was likely required to avoid a lengthy walk from either side. The owners also built a Mechanics Institute, as a means of providing the literacy rates of working people as well as some technical education.
There were no large disasters at this pit, but no less than 39 people died at the pit at various times, mostly due to the falling of rocks and coal.
The site is still evident, though is wooded and provides little evidence of the former coal workings. Any trace of shafts are likely capped in the undergrowth.
Ordnance Survey, 1898
Isabella Pit, 1960s. Source: Phodgetts, rootschat
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Site visited in 2023. There are no remains of the pit and much of the area is wooded, though the earthworks of the railway to Newsham are still evident.
Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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