Killingworth to Wallsend
55.028412, -1.573710 to 54.987974, -1.517953
18 Jul 2022
18 Jul 2022
Description (or HER record listing)
Killingworth Moor Waggonway (HER 1160) was extended to the north-west in the 1800s with the opening of Killingworth Colliery’s West Moor Pit in 1802, followed in 1808 and 1820 by branch lines to Killingworth High Pit (HER 1060) and Burradon Colliery (HER 1080) respectively. Killingworth Waggonway is famous for its association with George Stephenson’s development of steam locomotives at Killingworth Colliery beginning with 'Blucher' in 1814. Along with William Losh, the senior partner of Walker ironworks, Stephenson also helped develop the patented Losh Rail in 1819, with which the whole of the waggonway was eventually re-laid. By 1822, five steam locomotives were working the route in winter and four in summer (Warn 1976, 17-18). Access to the River Tyne was altered in 1820 when a new route was opened to Wallsend Staiths (HER 15351). Prior to this, the fall down to the staiths at Willington had been converted into an inclined plane.
The waggonway trail nowadays has various portions which differ in accessibility. The south portion from the Tyne to Wallsend dene is unreachable as it is on school grounds. Though much of the earthwork from Crow Bank to the Coast Road is in situ, it is overgrown and only trails around it can be reached. Here, bridge abutments still remain from the viaduct.
The section between the Coast Road and Benton ASDA is a pleasant walk, as it runs through the Rising Sun County Park, and is especially preserved for walkers and cyclists. From there to West Moor, there is little left apart from a parcel of land near Farne Road. Therefore, it is only the Rising Sun section which is advisable.
Ordnance Survey, 1898
The Killingworth Waggonway through Rising Sun can be seen on the left of this aerial shot.
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Killingworth Viaduct at Wallsend, undated. The abutments can still be seen in the overgrown section above the burn. Unknown Source.
Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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