Great Britain

The creepy abandoned buildings of a former Gateshead colliery

Wardley sits on the border of Gateshead and South Tyneside.

Today it's a mainly residential area today but, like so many other North East locations, its past was dominated by a long-vanished pit.

Wardley Colliery first stirred into life in 1855. It closed in 1911, reopening in 1938 after being modernised. It closed for good in 1974.

Our striking images, courtesy of Jack Duncan, show the remains of the pit's abandoned buildings as they were in May 2019.

Crumbling and graffiti-strewn, they once served as bath houses and administrative buildings for the thousands of pit men who worked at Wardley over the years.

But what of the colliery's early years?

In 1894, the village appeared in Whellan’s Directory of County Durham.

The entry read: “Wardley is entirely inhabited by miners engaged at the colliery. There is a neat Primitive Methodist chapel here, built of brick, with stone dressings, erected in 1884.

“There is also a good Board school, which was built in 1878, to accommodate 180 infants.”

Local historian Norman Dunn, who worked at the colliery in the 1960s, points out: "The area was traversed by three railway lines, the Leamside, Sunderland and the Pontop to Jarrow coal line.

"They formed a triangle in which the pit and most of the miners' homes were located. The pit was linked to the Pontop and Jarrow line which took the coal to colliers at Jarrow staiths, and in later years to Monkton Cokeworks."

There were further developments at the site in years after World War II, but after the National Coal Board started to streamline the industry and keep only its most economically viable collieries open, Wardley was closed.

After lying empty for many years, in 2007 the site reopened as a paintball arena called The Zone, but the venture failed to take off and it soon closed, leaving the area deserted once again.

The last remains of Wardley Colliery were finally demolished last year. In March this year, ChronicleLive reported how plans to build more than 100 new homes at the site were set to be given the go-ahead.

Norman Dunn's two recently published books, Good Old Jarrow and Good Old Hebburn, are on sale for £15 each, direct from Norman. To order copies, email [email protected] or telephone 07958 120972. If people live locally, the books can be picked up personally.

Don't forget to check out our Memory Lane local history website that's packed with archive photographs and has an easy-to-use picture colourisation tool.

Football news:

Pedri played his 72nd game of the season. If he enters the field in the final of the Olympics, he will beat the achievement of Bruno
Spain and Brazil will play in the final of the Olympics, Mexico and Japan-in the match for the third place
European champion Sirigu signed a contract with Genoa
Zlatan wanted to return to PSG before extending his contract with Milan
Inter can release Lukaku for 130 million euros
Kane may submit a transfer request from Tottenham in the coming days
🗿 Пике побриĞся †и запустиРмарафон невозмутимыÑ. сеĞфи. Шакира, что творится!