Coal was mined in the Manor of Whickham prior to the 13th century and as early as 1356 the Bishop of Durham had five mines on lease in the Manor. Originally coal was obtained from near to the surface, pits being merely holes in the ground and the small quantities of coal extracted were largely for domestic use. In the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries coal production in the Manor of Whickham increased. Bell pits were sunk with shafts 3 metres in diameter to a depth of 10 metres at first increasing to over 100 metres. Coal was mined in all directions from the bottom of the shaft. It was possible to have an output of 90 tons per day from the most productive of these bell pits. By the beginning of the 18th century the shallow seams of coal in the area were becoming exhausted but coal continued to be mined from seams such as the Beaumont, Hutton and Busty which occurred at great depths.
Is there any names to go with the photos my nans family lived in dunston her father was a miner if you could help.
Posted by: s. kinzett at June 26, 2009 10:22 AM
Sorry, if there are no names on a photograph it means we don't have any further details.Names are always shown where we have them.
Posted by: Whickham Web Wanderers at June 26, 2009 12:52 PM