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St Hilda's Colliery, 1934

Name: St Hilda's Colliery

Region: South Shields, South Tyneside

Date of Origin: 19th Century

Site Type: Colliery

Condition: Extant Building

Status: Engine House Grade II Listed and in good condition. Rest of site is a business park.

Last Updated: 21/05/2020

"St. Hilda's Colliery was served by St. Hilda's Wagonway (HER ref. 2356) and by a Ballast Railway (HER ref. 2427). The shaft first sunk in 1822 by the Brandlings and the Colliery opened in 1825. The mine holds a significant position in the development of ventilation, lighting and safety in the mines. Following a gas explosion in 1839, which killed 51 miners, an inquest found that the disaster had resulted from the use of lighted candles in the mine and recommended that their use should be abolished. A 'Committee for the Investigation of Accidents in Mines' was formed in South Shields shortly afterwards, the report from which considered the relative merits of the various safety lamps and went some way towards improving the safety of mines. St. Hilda's Colliery worked throughout nineteenth century, new structures being constructed on the surface in the late nineteenth century and early 20th century, when the structures at the pit head were altered and a new pumping engine house, which still survives, was constructed adjacent to the shaft. When the interlinked Westoe Colliery closed in 1993, the need to maintain the shaft and buildings ended. The pumping engine house at St Hilda's was partially renovated in 1989 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the disaster, and the remaining buildings on the site (the colliery head stocks) became grade 2 Listed Buildings in 1990." - Sitelines

"St. Hilda's Colliery in High Shields was established by Simon Temple and produced its first coal on the 23rd of April 1810. By 1822 St. Hilda's Wagonway was built to connect St. Hilda's Colliery to the Templetown Wagonway, for transporting the coal.[1] In July 1825, at this time owned by Robert & John William Brandling, the mine reached the Bensham Coal Seam at a depth of 143 fathoms (260 metres), where the coal seam was about 6 feet thick. On the 28th of June 1839, tragedy struck when an explosion in the colliery resulted in the deaths of 51 men and boys, the youngest aged 9. Many of the dead were buried at the nearby St Hilda's Church. By the 1880s the colliery was under the ownership of Harton Coal Company, which in 1908 developed the Harton Electric Railway, for the transport of coal from St Hilda's and the company's other mines in the area. In 1921 there were 2,134 people employed at the colliery (1,722 working below ground and 412 working on the surface).[3] The colliery closed temporarily in 1925 and was permanently closed in 1940, with production shifing to Westoe Colliery. The 19th century Head Stock building of St Hilda's Colliery remains a local landmark." - Co-Curate

St Hilda's Colliery with the extant engine house in the foreground. The view would be unrecognisable if not for this, as the rest of the area is now offices and retail shops. This is the view in 1934.

Retrieved from Victoria Collections

St Hilda's Colliery, 1934

St Hilda's Colliery
South Shields

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