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Friday, 5 June 2020

Marley Hill Workers' Housing

When Marley Hill Colliery was first opened in the early 1700s, it was associated with the Tanfield Waggonway.   MH Colliery closed in 1815, and the workers' housing for this was likely very rudimentary & swept away at closure.

New mining technology enabled the profitable reopening of Marley Hill Colliery in 1840, soon associated with the Pontop & Jarrow Railway.   This much larger development required many more workers & therefore nearby housing (lack of transport & shift working).   The Victorian Marley Hill shown below has been razed, except for our 1854 engine shed, the area now being referred to as Old Marley Hill.   Marley Hill today refers to a former category D village built as 20th century housing for the colliery on the A692 west of Sunniside.
Workers' housing at Marley is ringed on this 1890s OS 25" map from National Library of Scotland
The housing is largely Victorian, built & rebuilt over several eras.   The Hole shown at top (alongside Bowes Bridge shed) was built in 1840 with beaten earth floor & demolished in the 1930s.   The shorter terrace further south was heavily rebuilt to form Post Office Row, housing colliery offices & officials.   The oldest housing is that near Andrews House Colliery shown at the bottom; neither the colliery nor housing lasted long into the 20th century.

Foundations of Bowes Terrace above MH shed appear on frosty days - see post for 1 Jan 2015 
Sunniside Local History Society (SLHS) & the Tanfield Railway News** magazine published longer articles on Victorian housing at Marley Hill.   Whickham & District U3A History Group published a number of shorter articles about people & places at Marley Hill, like SLHS.

Last month Tanfield Railway Facebook featured this housing:
Waggonway Row - Tanfield Facebook 25 May 

High Row next to Waggonway Row - Tanfield Facebook 26 May 

Chapel Row next to Marley Hill Colliery - Tanfield Facebook 28 May 

** Tanfield Railway News articles about housing by Eric Maxwell:
No.44 Dec 1997 1. The Hole, Bowes Bridge
No.46 Jun  1998 2. Bowes Terrace, south of the shed
No.51 Oct  1999 3. Slatyford, alongside Causey West Incline
No.54 Jun  2000 4. Causey Crossing
No.61 Aug 2002 5. Wood Houses, on old waggonways SW of Marley Hill
No.71 Dec 2005 6.1 Waggonway Row, 19th century
No.72 Apr  2006 6.2 Waggonway Row, 20th century
No.80 Dec 2008 7. Around MH Colliery

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