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Seaton Burn Wagonway (Brunton and Shields Railway)
The Seaton Burn Wagonway overlay the earlier Brunton & Shields Railway, opened in stages in 1826 and 1837 by the Grand Allies, and built by Benjamin Thompson. It was converted to standard gauge some time after 1860. There were engines on this line at Percy Main (Tyne Plane), Flatworth, Shiremoor, Hillhead and Brunton. Fawdon Colliery, which opened in 1810, connected to the Brunton and Shields line in 1826. Wideopen Colliery, linked itself to the Brunton and Shields route in 1827. The last colliery to connect to the system was Seaton Burn, opened by the Grand Allies in 1837 and transferred to John Bowes and Partners in 1850. In 1845-6 the line was known as the Fawdon Wagonway (see HER ref. 4006). Up until at least 1853 the Brunton and Shields line continued to serve the four staiths for Wideopen, Fawdon and Seaton Burn. About 1867 the line from Seaton Burn to the Tyne staiths was converted to standard gauge (4' 8 1/2") enabling it to be used by ordinary colliery wagons, and Killingworth and Dinnington Colleries connected to the line. On May 1st 1878 the Brunton and Shields line became known as the Seaton Burn Wagonway. Over the next 40 years the acquisition by the Seaton Burn Coal Company of a number of colliery branches connecting to the former Brunton and Shields railway, resulted in confusing name changes for sections of the line. Seaton Burn Wagonway included the Hillhead Engine (HER ref. 1096), Shiremoor Engine and another unnamed engine house (HER ref. 1142, 1171). Its Southern terminus was at Seatonburn Colliery Staiths (HER ref. 2115). In the 1920s, after its take-over by the North Eastern Railway, the Seaton Burn Wagonway south of Hillhead Engine fell into disuse.
<< HER 1065 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 80 C. R. Warn, 1976, Wagonways & Early Railways of Northumberland, 1605-1840 p.50 C.E. Lee, 1949, Tyneside Tramroads of Northumberland 1947-9, Transactions of the Newcomen Society, p.213-4 Brunton and Shields Wagonway File SCT/N/IA 1- Historic Environment Record Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 1998, Seaton Burn Waggonway, Archaeological Recording and Watching Brief The Archaeological Practice, 2000, Weetslade Colliery, Archaeological Assessment D.S.J. Timoney, 1983, The Colliery Waggonways of Tyne and Wear, Unpublished report Greenwood,1828, Map of Northumberland, sheet 9, -Northumberland Records Office T. Bell, 1850, Plan of the Brunton and Shields Railway, NCL (SB) 8/2 -Newcastle Library Local Studies 1852, Plan of Extensive Freehold Estates Near Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland Records Office (A) 404/380 T. Bell, 1858, Plan by T. Bell, NCL (SB) 23/5 -Newcastle Library Local Studies; W.W. Tomlinson, 1914, The North Eastern Railway - Its Rise and Development, p19; Tyne and Wear Museums, 2004, Seaton Burn Waggonway, Camperdown - Archaeological Evaluation; Northern Archaeological Associates, 2005, Weetslade Colliery, Dudley, North Tyneside - Archaeological Evaluation; Archaeological Research Services Ltd, 2012, West View, Wideopen, Newcastle upon Tyne - Archaeological Evaluation