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Seaton Delaval Colliery Railway

Newsham to Seaton Delaval

55.112555, -1.544375 to 55.079914, -1.534065

Forster Pit Branch





Entry Created:

12 Jun 2022

Last Updated:

12 Jun 2022




Hartley Main Collieries, National Coal Board

Description (or HER record listing)

"The Seaton Delaval collieries had begun in 1838 with the sinking of what was to be known as A shaft. Eight shafts were finally sunk at the location. The shafts were in pairs, ten feet apart and eight feet in diameter. Each shaft was sunk to different coal seams at different depths. The multiple headgear within such a small area must have made for an impressive, and busy, sight. In fact, the only other colliery with multiple headgear was at Bedlington A pit. Some of the buildings from this complex still remain as part of the Seaton Delaval Industrial Estate.

In 1929 Seaton Delaval Coal Company merged with Cramlington Coal Company to form Hartley Mains Collieries Ltd. A period of modernisation took place after this merger, with electricity and mechanical coal cutters being introduced to the collieries.

Again, in March 1943 Hartley Mains Collieries Ltd was merged to become part of the Bedlington Mains Collieries Ltd. Nationalisation in 1947 brought about some further modernisation of the collieries. But by 1956 the colliery was showing its age and was put onto single-shift working. Seaton Delaval Colliery closed in 1960.

Away from the main Seaton Delaval Colliery site, however, in 1859 the company had extended their wagonway to reach a new sinking in the Newsham ward of Blyth. This was the Forster Pit. The first shaft was sunk to a depth of 737ft at a diameter of fifteen-and-a-half feet to the Plessey seam. However, due to geological faults this was found to be unworkable so an inset was made at 668ft to the Low Main Seam."

An excerpt from Alan Fryer, Seaton Delaval Collieries, Burradon History, accessed 22/06/20,


The entirety of the route is walkable from Newsham to Seaton Delaval, but is not paved. It's an uneven surface with fallen trees, rocks and mud . The trackside is woodland, and would be difficult to traverse with mobility aids or a pushchair.

Ordnance Survey, 1890s. The route is in the centre of the map.

Ordnance Survey, 1890s. The route is in the centre of the map.

Aerial shot of the Forster Pit branch looking southwards, 2022.

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Part of the route which is now a bridleway, 2022

Part of the route which is now a bridleway, 2022

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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