Oxclose Colliery, 1862
Oxclose Colliery, 1862

In the first edition, the colliery can be seen covering a fairly long substantial complex in the countryside. There are multiple buildings covering the site like an Engine House. The site today expands from Oxclose Primary Academy to Derwent House, adjacent to the Galleries.

Oxclose Colliery, 1898
Oxclose Colliery, 1898

At this point Oxclose Colliery is disused, but it is not known for how long. As the track is already lifted and it is labelled as "Old Coal Pit" it can be presumed some years. Other notable features include a rifle range south east of the pit under Oxclose Burn, now part of the wooded area under the Leisure Centre. There was also an inn adjacent to the pit which has been demolished.

Oxclose Colliery, 1862
Oxclose Colliery, 1862

In the first edition, the colliery can be seen covering a fairly long substantial complex in the countryside. There are multiple buildings covering the site like an Engine House. The site today expands from Oxclose Primary Academy to Derwent House, adjacent to the Galleries.

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Name: Oxclose Colliery

Region: Washington, Tyne & Wear

Date of Origin: Possibly 1714

Site Type: Colliery

Condition: Demolished

Status: The site of the original colliery is now across Washington Highway and the Oxclose housing estate. 

Last Updated: 26/05/2020

Though there isn't much information online about Oxclose Colliery, it is possible to retrieve a few details from the OS and other relevant resources. The Colliery opened pre 1805 which makes it a very old colliery for the area. 

In 1805, there was a large explosion at the colliery where 38 lives were lost. In respect to those who lost their lives, their names are listed below, each with a link to the Durham Mining Museum records - 

Armstrong, John, 29 Nov 1805, aged 18, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]   

Bradley, Isaac, 29 Nov 1805, aged 25, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Carr, Robert, 29 Nov 1805, aged 24, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Curry, Henry, 29 Nov 1805, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Penshaw? [More information ...]    

Davison, Joseph, 29 Nov 1805, aged 26, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Dowell, George, 29 Nov 1805, aged 12, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]   

Dowell, Henry, 29 Nov 1805, aged 18, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]   

Dowell, William, 29 Nov 1805, aged 25, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]  

Dunn, Benjamin, 29 Nov 1805, aged 55, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...] 

Errington, John, 29 Nov 1805, aged 24, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Frost, Robert, 29 Nov 1805, aged 27, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...] 

Hall, James, 29 Nov 1805, aged 24, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Hamilton, Thomas, 29 Nov 1805, aged 30, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Harrison, John, 29 Nov 1805, aged 26, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Henderson, William, 29 Nov 1805, aged 25, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]   

Johnson, Henry, 29 Nov 1805, aged 26, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]   

Johnson, Ralph, 29 Nov 1805, aged 22, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]     

Knott, Edward, 29 Nov 1805, aged 12, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]     

Knott, Thomas, 29 Nov 1805, aged 15, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]     

Knott, William, 29 Nov 1805, aged 18, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Knox, Thomas, 29 Nov 1805, aged 23, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Lake, John, 29 Nov 1805, aged 32, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Lake, Robert, 29 Nov 1805, aged 10, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]  

Mason, John, 29 Nov 1805, aged 10, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]  

Mason, Thomas, 29 Nov 1805, aged 29, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Reay, John, 29 Nov 1805, aged 20, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...] 

Reay, Thomas, 29 Nov 1805, aged 18, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]  

Robinson, Thomas, 29 Nov 1805, aged 30, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]   

Sadler, Daniel, 29 Nov 1805, aged 8, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]

Sadler, Thomas, 29 Nov 1805, aged 33, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Thirloway, Ralph, 29 Nov 1805, aged 46, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]   

Todd, John, 29 Nov 1805, aged 28, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Todd, Thomas, 29 Nov 1805, aged 19, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Vazie, William (jnr), 29 Nov 1805, aged 10, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Vazie, William (snr), 29 Nov 1805, aged 34, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Walker, Michael, 29 Nov 1805, aged 35, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]    

Walker, Richard, 29 Nov 1805, aged 33, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]   

Walker, William, 29 Nov 1805, aged 9, killed in the 1805 explosion, Buried: Washington [More information ...]

Even though the disaster happened over 200 years ago, it is harrowing to see so many relatives and close family member pass away in such circumstances. The Dowell's, Knott's and Walker's may all be ancestors of Washington residents and we pay them our respects.

The colliery was only active up until the end of the 19th century. The reason for this is unclear, but the last owner recorded was George Elliott & Johasshon in the 1850s. In1854 no one was working at the site. This may be due to a number of factors, but perhaps the site was already winding down at this stage. There is no evidence of the site now. In 1954 the site was still recognisably an old pit, but in 1967 the grounds were a sheep wash. It was still fairly rural at this point, and wasn't until later when the housing developments transformed the site, as well as the construction of the Galleries shopping centre.

"Bill Arbuckle's photo from the early 1960s facing east, with the Oxclose Waggonway being the white line, a muddy track, nearest the camera.

The line then curved left over the embankment and crossed what is now Biddick and Columbia toward the Wear.

This photo shows a ventilation shaft on the left from Oxclose A pit. Today you'd be standing underneath the south facing carriageway of the A182 road heading toward Shiney Row."

Retrieved from Waggonways of Washington on Facebook

Ventilation Shaft, early 60s

"A rarely seen image of Oxclose, Durham House and The Galleries during construction with the Oxclose Waggonway route still to be seen. An image shared on Facebook by Adrian Lupton"

Retrieved from Waggonways of Washington on Facebook

Waggonway alignment, undated

The alignment of Oxclose Waggonway can be seen to the left of the image, along with the old sight of the Oxclose Colliery middle left where the trees can be seen. The Washington Highway is just being built along with the Galleries in the foreground. The Oxclose housing estate isnt yet built.

Retrieved from Waggonways of Washington on Facebook

Oxclose, undated

OXCLOSE COLLIERY

WASHINGTON