Blackhall Colliery, DURHAM
- Mining village built to accommodate the miners of Blackhall Colliery.
- Historical Background
- 'Only a few new long-life coal mines were opened in the North East in the twentieth century, and where they were, as at Blackhall, the quality of the houses was determined by nationally operating byelaws. Blackhall was one of the new collieries of the Horden Coal Company, which claimed, in 1918, that of the £1.3M capital employed in the Company, £0.5M had been spent on houses.
H. F. Bulman, in his 'Coal Mining and the Coal Miner' (1920) has a useful section on colliery housing, including that at Blackhall Colliery, from which the following is taken:
'The pit was sunk in 1913 by thee Horden Collieries Ltd., and a new village was properly laid out. Some 462 houses had been built by the Company before 1920, plus others, and shops, by private individuals. Four classes of house were built, all having the same materials of construction, red pressed bricks for the fronts, common bricks elsewhere, made by the company, outside cavity walls of 11 inches thick, solid interior walls of 9 inches thick, second quality Bangor slates. In addition, all classes of house had a yard with earth closet and coalhouse, (‘Earth-closets are preferred to water-closets, because the latter are so often put out of action, and the drain pipes stopped up, by the various articles put into them by the tenants.') All internal rooms were 9 feet high; water and electricity for lighting was laid on for a fixed weekly payment, the electric lamps being supplied at cost price. All roads and footpaths in the village were tar-macadamed. Sites were set out for a hospital, a church and vicarage, a theatre, a workmen's club, a school, a park with bandstand, and two hotels/public houses. In spite of this imaginative provision, the main rows of houses were to be named ‘First Street' and so on up to Eleventh Street', plus an ‘East Street', a ‘Middle Street', and a ‘West Street', as they still are.'
Class I houses had four rooms, two up and two down, plus a wash-house and kitchen projecting into the yard.
Class II houses were wider in frontage and higher to the gable, had five rooms, three up and two down, plus a closet under the stairs in the sitting room, and another in the front bedroom; there were cupboards either side of the kitchen range; small garden.
A wash-house and kitchen projected into the yard.
Class III was a larger five-roomed house than Class II, having a bathroom and scullery projecting into the yard; it also had a larger garden.
Class IV was designed for colliery officials. It had a vestibule and good-sized hall, a parlour with bay window, a sitting room, a kitchen-scullery, a pantry, three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a separate water closet, a garden. These houses were built at each end of the rows of the other houses ‘and serve thus to relive somewhat the monotony of the outline'.'
[Stafford Linsley's annotation]
- 1910s Blackhall Colliery housing was constructed.
- 'Blackhall Colliery is one of the modernised or new collieries of c.1900, operated by the Horden Coal Company, others being Horden and Easington. This company was one of the most efficient and profitable of the 20th century mining companies of the north east of England. Parts of the coalfield saw very significant expansion in the early years of the 20th century.
Associated with these collieries are mining villages of a late type. The housing reflects late forms of the specifically mining vernacular housing of the north east of England, a development nearing its end before the emergence of more generalised housing types on a national scale after world war one. These villages also differ from earlier forms of mining settlement in that from the beginning they included such elements as state schools and other social facilities emerging in modern times.'
[Norman McCord annotation]
- Additional information about the structure type WORKERS VILLAGE is available.
The information displayed in this page has been derived from authoritative
sources, including any referenced above. Although substantial efforts
were made to verify this information, the SINE project cannot guarantee
its correctness or completeness.