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Local Histories - T

Throckley

Early human activity is attested at Throckley by finds of Mesolithic flints (HER 186-188) and Neolithic flints and axes (HER 186-188 and 223) around Dewley Hill (HER 185).

Other prehistoric finds include late Bronze Age pottery, found in 2002 at Throckley Middle School (HER 5222), and a cup and ring marked stone (HER 1955) and bronze axe head (HER 5450), both from Throckley Bank Top. A number of rectilinear enclosures and other cropmarks of possible late prehistoric date have also been detected by aerial photography in the area (HER 189, 190-2 and 194-5). Hadrian’s Wall (HER 219) passes through Throckley and a number of artifacts from that period have been found in the vicinity, the most spectacular of which is the Walbottle Hoard (HER 1418 and 1241), a collection of over 5000 3rd century coins in a pottery vessel found in the Wall ditch in 1879 at Throckley Bank Top. The Drove Road (HER 3951) which passes through the Wall at this point has long been suggested as a medieval routeway, but recent evidence suggests it may have originated as a road through the wall in the Roman period. The earliest reference to Throckley village dates to 1161 (HER 1316). A member of the Saxon burgh, later medieval manor, of Newburn, it had six taxpayers in 1296, and eight in 1312. Throckley passed to the Radcliffe family in the early 15th century, and later to Greenwich Hospital. The village originally lay south of the Wall and Hexham Road, on an east-west axis, and appears to have been a 2-row green village, reached from the north by the modern Hill House Road. By the mid-19th century the only surviving dwellings were two cottages in the north row, and the eastern third of the village had become a quarry and a wood. Dewley Mill (HER 1320 and see also HER 3962) is recorded in the medieval period and some of the modern farms, such as Cutty Coats Farm (HER 1599) may well also have medieval origins. Little is known about the size of the village in the immediate post-medieval period, but a possible Civil War camp is recorded there (HER 1960). Coal had been extracted in the area around Throckley and Callerton for many centuries prior to the industrialisation of mining, which occurred from the early 18th century. A large number of workings are recorded there (e.g. HER 1956, 1962, 3923-6, 3940-1, 3947-50), 3952-6, 3964-70), along with the wagonways which enabled the expansion of the industry (e.g. HER 1963 and 3928). In the 19th century coal extraction was focused on Throckley Colliery, owned by the Throckley Coal company (formed 1862), which in 1867 brought the extensive Isabella Coke Ovens complex (HER 1035) into production. Other coal-dependant industries of the period included brick and tile making (HER 3957). Quarrying was also important (HER 3942 and 4237). The industrialisation of Throckley led to the spread of workers’ housing (e.g. HER 4948) and the construction of churches, schools (HER 1957) and other public buildings, as well as a range of transport and other services, such as waterworks (HER 1964-5 and 4236). Grand residences for industrialists were also built in the mid-19th century, notably Throckley House (HER 1931). Later structures of local cultural heritage value include Second World War air raid shelters (HER 5478 and 5569).