Last Updated:

8 Mar 2021

Lead Foundry, Blaydon

Blaydon, Gateshead

Blaydon Railway Station

This is a

Lead Works

Founded in 

17th Century

Current status is

Demolished

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Site is now occupied by Blaydon Railway Station

'The Ryton Foundry for Aldstone Moor opened at Blaydon between 1692 and 1696. It was owned by the London Lead Company. The company was set up 'for the Smelting downe Lead with Pittcoale ans Seacoale'. The foundry had six furnaces. The company chemist Edward Wright perfected the coal-fired reverbatory furnace, which allowed mass production of lead, and the method of extracting silver from lead called cupellation. The head smelter was Thomas Pattison. In 1706 the London Lead Company moved operations to the orefield in Allendale. The Blaydon foundry was bought by Sir William Blackett.' - Sitelines

'Blaydon Bank formed part of Sir William Blackett’s Lead way along which the lead was carried from the mines at Allenheads to the smelt mill at Blaydon, which stood on the site of the present railway station. The only houses on Blaydon bank were two cottages at the entrance to Loup Farm. At Blaydon Haughs near to the crossings stood a windmill. There were houses on both sides of the road near to Fountain Lane, mainly occupied by keelmen. The little bridge over Blaydon Burn was built in 1778, the new road bridge being built in 1936.

The wharfs at Stella and Blaydon receive the greatest part of the lead which comes down the Tyne.The proprietors are the London Lead Company, the heirs of Sit Thomas Blackett, Bart. and Henry Errington esq. and Company. The smelt mills are chiefly on the Derwent River at: Whitefield,Jeffreys and Acton belonging to the London Company: Dukesfield,Allenheads nad Rookhope, belonging to the heirs of Sir Thomas Blackett:Feldon near Edmondbyers belonging to Mr. Errington.Sir Thomas’ heirs have a refinery at Blaydon.The yearly receipt of lead at the above wharfs is 60,000 pieces of twelve stones each. There are ninety three carriages constantly employed to bring down the lead, each carrying ten pieces at a time. The average number of pieces of lead sent to Blaydon from the western mines, in the County od Durham, is about 100,000.At this time Blaydon bank was known as Silver Hill because the pack trains carried lead down it from Winlaton to Blaydon and every ton of lead produced nine or ten ounces of silver.

The lead was carried down to Blaydon in the early days of the eighteenth century by small galloways containing a piece of lead on each side. The leading pony had a bell attached to its head in order to guide those behind. It would have been a common sight to see forty or fifty galloways, in the charge of two men, making the journey from Allenheads to Blaydon. After the roads had improved, later in the century, a horse-drawn vehicle called a wain was used. This was done during the summer months only – as being the only time when travel was possible, but as the men were farmers and had their own farming work to do in the summer as well, this lead to supply problems.

The London Lead Company had a wharf at Stella, and the road was called Lead Gate. The route was over Hedley Fell to Lead gate, where the ponies were changed; then by road by Coalburns, Greenside and Path Head to Stella. The lead belonged to the heirs of Sir Thomas Blackett, was refined at Blaydon and then shipped to its destination.' - Winlaton History Society

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