Fencehouses to Rainton
4 Jun 2022
4 Jun 2022
Description (or HER record listing)
"Stewart was certainly not idle during this waiting period. A seventh large pit, Adventure, was sunk at Rainton from 1820 to 1822, and an eighth, the Alexandrina or Letch, in 1824. A completely new colliery complex was sunk at Pittington (consisting of the Londonderry, Adolphus and Buddle pits) from 1826 to 1828 on land leased from others. Stewart also leased land at Hetton in 1820 from the estate of the Earl of Strathmore. Here the future North Hetton Colliery (later called Moorsley) would appear in 1838. In 1825 Stewart combined this tract of land with an adjacent part of the Rainton Royalty, which he leased from the Dean and Chapter and where two more pits (Dun Well and Hazard) were planned, and sub-leased the lot to William Russell of Brancepeth. Included in the deal was the nearby North pit and permission to use the old wagonway to Penshaw and the staiths there. Stewart received rent and royalties and also had a share in the new North Hetton Coal Company that was established. When the Rainton to Seaham line was constructed in 1831 he made sure that the last four named pits were roped into his rail network...
The rest of the ‘Rainton Royalty’ was taken over by Lambton Collieries Ltd. and worked from existing collieries at Cocken and Littletown. As the coal from Meadows and Adventure pits and from North Hetton/Hazard/Dunwell could be carried on N.E.R. lines the wagonway from the Raintons to Seaham Harbour was redundant after a working life of 65 years. The sections west of the Copt Hill were dismantled in December 1896. The run from the Copt Hill to Seaham Colliery remained open for a while longer to enable the Hetton Colliery Company to ship their coal at Seaham if their own line to the Wear was choked but this section too had gone by 1920."
Durham Records Online
Walked 03/06/22. Much of the trackbed is still a public right of way, but is extremely overgrown and difficult to walk through especially in Spring. With this being said it may be okay to walk through other seasons when the foliage isn't as dense, and does contain pleasant scenery and field walks. It is entirely walkable from West Rainton Farm to Chilton Moor.
Ordnance Survey, 1861. This railway can be seen to the centre left.
The Londonderry Railway can clearly be seen in the centre of this aerial shot, just to the left of the farm. The Leamside Line is further left.
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Photograph of the colliery railway northwards. This is a more pleasant part - There are much harder parts to walk through further up.
Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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