Keys to the Past

Murton Colliery (Murton)

Murton Colliery was one of the pioneering mines in the East Durham Coalfield. Great difficulty was experienced in sinking the shaft due to the great depth of magnesian limestone cover and pockets of shifting sands. The sinking of the pit began in 1838 and three shafts were sunk in all. It took five years to complete the shafts before coal extraction could begin. The huge expense of this investment led to the first introduction of late shift working so that coal could be mined 24 hours a day and help investors earn back some of their outlay. By the 1890's the colliery was working the Main, Hutton, 5/4 and Low Main seams producing a daily output of 3,000 tons. At this time the pit employed around 2,000 men and boys. The West Pit was used to ventilate the mine with a record 460,000 cubic feet of air per hour. A modernisation scheme was introduced after the First World War, including new machinery and a {friction winder D12608} at the west pit in 1923.
The Colliery became part of the Hawthorn combined mining complex after Nationalisation of the coal industry. The Hawthorn shaft was sunk from 1952 to 58 and brought together coals from the Murton, Eppleton and Elemore Collieries with Murton forming the dominant partner. Murton closed on the 29th of November 1991.

Reference number:D3839
Event(s):Turning the Tide Project 1997 - 1998; Archaeological Services University of Durham

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Murton

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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.