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Lower Derwent Valley Timeline

By A.L. Brown

Ironmasters


  • 1200   The family of De Marley (of Marley Hill) owned the Gibside estates.
  • 1300   Around this time it is likely that medieval monks worked a small drift mine up the Clockburn lonnen, (Clockinthenns).
  • 1318   Hollinside manor and lands are sold to William Bainton of Newcastle.
  • 1362   The `White House'was built at this time on the site of what would be the Axwell Hall Estate possibly for the Selby family.
  • 1390   The Hollinside estate is sold to Thomas De Redheugh who also acquired the Axwell estate.
  • 1413   Roger Harding buys the Hollinside estate from De Redheugh.
  • 1538   Roger Blakiston of Coxhoe married Elizabeth De Marley and acquired the Gibside estate.
  • 1591   The Winlaton Mill area became both a corn mill and a fulling mill (which was used to process wool). The mill stood on the northwest side of the river between Barkwood and Eelshaugh.
  • 1630   Coal is transported from mines in the Chopwell area to Derwenthaugh probably via Winlaton and Blaydon.
  • 1632   Another corn mill stood at the bottom of Clockburn Lane. This was owned by Harding of Hollinside. (George Eavans later lived here around 1718).
  • 1636   Clockbourne was the scene of coal production. This was most likely an extension of the earlier operations of Hollinside and would have used `bell pits'.
  • 1650   Late on the afternoon of 25th July Oliver Cromwells artillery and baggage train marched down Clockburn Lane on their way to the battle of Dunbar. Nearly 1000 carts and heavy guns pass over the ford on the old drovers road via Newburn to Scotland
  • 1685   Ambrose Crowley III starts a business in Sunderland for making nails. Iron from Sweden was easily acquired here rather than at his home town of Stourbridge.
  • 1690   Crowley opens his nail making business at Winlaton after leaving Sunderland. His workers' religious beliefs (Catholicism) frightened the locals which forced him to look for a new site along the Tyne.
  • 1691   Crowley leased the mill on the northwest side of the river `Darwent' for 99 years with rights or `liberty to build engines and houses thereon for manufacturing iron and to dig for stone and clay for `surer building'.
  • 1694   Sir William Bowes of Streatlam, MP for Durham County 1679-1705, married Elizabeth Blakiston and so obtained Gibside by marriage.
  • 1697   Production starts at the Winlaton Mill ironworks and Crowley calls it his Mill No.1.
  • 1697   There were floods this winter which breached the banks in several places.
  • 1699   The Dunston waggonway is opened by Charles Montague. It ran from Marley Hill/Northbanks to Dunston Staithes.
  • 1699   Crowley introduces his `Current Bills' as a form of local paper money currency. These were for variable amounts not in fixed sums as in modern notes. Wages were paid in these bills and they could be used in several towns and villages around the area. Shops, markets and houses where meat or drink were sold would also accept them readily.
  • 1700   The first steel furnace is built at the mill. It was of the type which used the Cementation' process.
  • 1700   October, new houses built of stone were added to the factory complex. These were situated alongside the road to the corn mill against the bankside. Their roofs at first were thatched but were changed later to tiled. Probably in 1703 after the great storm.
  • 1700   Winter, building has been abridged until the next year due to the expense of using stone. Later construction of the works was to use bricks for `a neater building.'
  • 1701   The German steelmaker Thomas Eckerhood and his son started work at Winlaton Mill. Eckerhood senior was paid 8 shillings and his son 6 shillings per week.
  • 1701   Autumn, saw the start of work on a plating forge, a second steel furnace and a `New Square' with several smiths' shops. Offices for the Warden of The Mill and Cashiers etc. were also added to the Winlaton Mill complex.
  • 1701   A warehouse was built at Blaydon. Here the bar iron (the raw material) was landed in sacks or barrels by the Newcastle Keelmen. Finished goods were then loaded and transported back down the mouth of the Tyne to the waiting ships.
  • 1702   Crowley advertises for craftsmen. He guarantees `constant work, ready pay and a healthful and plentiful country to live in.'
  • 1703   November 24th - 26th. There was a great storm or hurricane when roofs were stripped of thatch and trees were uprooted.
  • 1703   A slitting mill is added to the factory on the `Darwent' to provide rod iron for the nail makers of Winlaton. The logistics of bringing rod iron from Stourbridge or other Midlands towns was enormous and frustrating. This completed the expansion work of the time.
  • 1706   Ambrose Crowley lll, now MP for Andover, is Knighted.
  • 1706   St. Annes' chapel at Winlaton was built.
  • 1707   May 1st. The Act of Union between England and Scotland is completed.
  • 1707   Crowley buys out the manufactory and slitting mill at Swalwell from Edward Harrison and rebuilds it.
  • 1710   Naval officers of Chatham yard questions the soundness of Crowleys anchors. Anchors are made from wrought iron bars welded together to form the shapes required and not cast which would be broken easily The possibility would then arise that lives could be lost by using the cheaper cast iron method. (A method that was never considered by Crowley).
  • 1710   A mystery illness strikes Winlaton. Over forty children die.
  • 1710   George Potts of Bate Houses was killed by the upsetting of a coal waggon at Winlaton Mill on the wooden line leading from Launds Wood.
  • 1712   Ambrose III leases Axwell hall from Sir John Clavering. This lease was renewed in 1716 for a further eighteen years.
  • 1712   The Crowley Factory at Winlaton Mill now consisted of; Two squares known as Old Square and New Square. A steel warehouse, three steel furnaces, a plating forge, a blade mill and slitting mill. Workshops were provided for making files, hoops, anvils and sundry goods, and nine great water wheels to give motive power to all of the above mills and some of the smiths' shops.
  • 1712   The Bucksnook Waggonway is opened. This ran from pits at Byermoor, Lintz, Bucksnook and Tanfield Moor and hugged the east side of the Derwent valley to Bucksnook, a bend in the Derwent at Swalwell. After falling out of use this way eventually became Fellside Road.
  • 1713   Ambrose III dies, his son John (Jack) Crowley takes over the factories.
  • 1715   Sunday May 8, `A great fire happened amongst the timber in the yard at Swalwell, which fire lay buried under the chips and was not discovered till it broke into a flame and might have done a great deal of damage had it not been immediately quenched'. This was thought to have originated from `fire being blown or accidently fallen from a pipe of tobacco'. This incident causes John to increase the fines on `smoaking' with a third offence punishable by dismissal.
  • 1716   John Crowley extends his lease on Axwell for a further sixteen years.
  • 1718   John (Jack) Crowley has the Mill and Swalwell factories surveyed by Mr Warner. (A partial copy of the Mill No1 survey is included at the back of this document)
  • 1718   December 2nd Mr. Warner has completed the plans and despatches them to John Crowley (probably to Axwell).
  • 1718   August 14th, Ambrose Crowley IV is born to John Crowley. The day was later to be celebrated by horse racing on the fields at Snook Hill.
  • 1721   William Blakiston Bowes died intestate and the estate passed to his brother George.
  • 1721   Young George Bowes, new lord of Gibside starts to plant trees and improve the estate.
  • 1721   The Western Way (a waggonway not to be confused with the New Western Way) was opened. This ran parallel to the Bucksnook way but nearer the river Derwent. Later part of this route degenerated to form Woodhouse Lane. The remainder through the Gibside area has almost disappeared.
  • 1724   A doctor is appointed by John Crowley and is based at Winlaton. The position was first held by William Rayne who was succeeded by his son John. Around this time a school teacher was appointed in each village to instruct the village children, `From the 29th of September to the 25th of March, from 8 in the morning till 12 and from 1 till 4 in the afternoon.' In the summer months the times were adjusted so that teaching would be from, `6 till 11 and from 1 till 5 and to be constantly in his school except Sundays and other holy days appointed by the Church and the twelve days of Christmas.'
  • 1726   The races on Sunday 15th August at Snook Hill lasted for three days. The first day plate was run by horses carrying ten stone for a prize of seven guineas. On the monday foot races were held and on tuesday another plate, this time for three guineas was run.
  • 1726   War breaks out with Spain.
  • 1726   George Bowes, Cotesworth and Liddel form the grand Allies. This was a coal cartel which was intended to stabilise prices.
  • 1728   John, son of Sir Ambrose Crowley III dies. At this time the manufacturing complex at Swalwell was a massive unit comprising mills, forges, furnaces, workshops and warehouses. It was part of the largest industrial site in the country (probably europe) at the time and employed hundreds of men.
  • 1728   The business is managed by the John Crowleys' executors.
  • 1730   George Bowes defects from the Grand Allies. He proceeds to cut the price of his coal in order to gain a greater market share.
  • 1730   William Hawks, destined to be the Gateshead Ironmaster, was born.
  • 1730   August, a sale of stock and implements belonging to Mr. Richard Harding was held at Hollinside.
  • 1731   Richard Harding dies on August 22nd aged 76. Hollinside is incorporated with the Gibside estate by way of foreclosure of mortgage and by subsequent conveyance now belongs to the Bowes family. Mr. Harding was laid to rest at Whickham.
  • 1731   Coal output has been cut by Cotesworth and Liddel in order to push up prices.
  • 1731   January, Wearside coal owners decide to stop production in an effort to push up prices. February, the coal owners increase the size of the pitmens corves by one peck. Durham, March; the corves were now holding another five pecks and the horses were hardly able to draw the increased size. Men were to be seen `walking the streets in great numbers not knowing where or how to get redress for their grievances,' said one report. By May Tyneside pitmen were still only working three quarters time and living was becoming hard. As a result the pitmen decided `not to work a coal till the Corve or Basket is reduced in size.' At this point in time or during the spring or summer, there was no strike. When the customary `Binding' time in late autumn arrived the men started to put pressure on the owners when they were now most vulnerable. On the 12th/13th of November troops were despatched from Berwick.
  • 1735   The mills on the river Team were acquired at this time. The two installations may have also been known as `High Mill' and `Low Mill'. Six workshops were employed to produce hoes for West Indian sugar plantations and two others which made spades and frying pans. Another steel furnace was added before 1740 at High Forge*.
  • 1735   Soon after this date the steelmaking facilities at Winlaton Mill were reduced or closed down. File making was increased and fourteen workshops were later devoted to this activity.
  • 1738   The western Way through Whickham was closed by the Grand Allies (George Bowes and the Liddels).
  • 1739   Ambrose IV, Johns' Eldest son, enjoys his `coming of age' and takes over control of the business from his Fathers' executors. August 15 was Ambrose IV's birthday. This was celebrated by the firing of guns, ringing of bells and a drinking to Mr. Crowleys health and the continued prosperity of the company.
  • 1739   The New Main Western Way or The Main Way waggonway opened. This ran from Pontop and Bucksnook (near Burnopfield?) down through what was to become Rowlands Gill past Winlaton Mill and Swalwell and on to Derwenthaugh staithes using the west side of the Derwent valley opposite Gibside. This incorporated part of the original wagon route which ran from Launds Wood alongside the river.
  • 1739   The original lease held by the two brothers John and James Clavering ran out when the second of the two brothers died. Sir James Clavering persuaded the Crowleys to take out a new lease to cover for the remainder of the 99 years of the lease inherited from Edward Harrison.
  • 1739   There was a bad harvest. There the beginnings of complaints that the waggonways were growing but that some pits were `going off'.
  • 1740    Horse racing at unlicensed racegrounds was made illegal. This stopped the annual horse races on Ambroses' birthday at Winlaton.
  • 1740   The Tyne river was frozen over until late spring. This and the bad weather forced up the price of rye and oats. The fear was that there would be a second bad harvest and that the population would suffer. On the 19th June a group of pitmen from Heaton Colliery marched into Newcastle in order to protest at the cost of grain and also that exports were still being sent out despite the local shortages. 26th June saw the Newcastle Corn or Guildhall riots which involved the Keelmen and Crowleys' Crew.
  • 1742   William Rayne the first doctor of the Crowley factories died aged 82 years.
  • 1745   A detachment of soldiers were stationed at Winlaton for fear that Bonnie Prince Charlies' army may invade.
  • 1746   January 27th, news has reached Tyneside that owing to the panic caused by the victory of the rebels (The Stuarts) at Falkirk the Duke of Cumberland and his army would pass through the district on their way north.
  • 1746   January 28th, at one o'clock in the morning the Duke passed down Gateshead high street not knowing that Gateshead House, a home of the Clavering family, a suspected hotbed of Romanists had been burned down.
  • 1746    April 11th, the Duke defeated the army of the young pretender at Culloden Moor.
  • 1746   The birthday races held on this occasion was by men competing in foot races for a guinea given by the young brothers Ambrose and John. Women competed for a smock worth around eight shillings.
  • 1747   The Terrace Avenue at Gibside was constructed.
  • 1748   William Shield, famous musician and opera producer was born at Swalwell.
  • 1750   The great column (Gibside Monument) is started.
  • 1750   Around this time steam power was made available to assist in pit drainage making it possible exploit deeper seams in the eastern part of the local coalfields.
  • 1752   The Crowleys (John and Ambrose 1V) finally leave Axwell and lease Winlaton Hall after their disputes over the factory lease of the Swalwell works with the Claverings in the 1740's.
  • 1754   Ambrose IV, Sir Ambrose Crowleys' eldest grandson dies of smallpox in May of this year and is buried beside his father John in Barking church. (Near London.)
  • 1755   John, Sir Ambrose Crowleys' youngest grandson dies. The business is now run by their mother, Theodosia, wife of John Crowley Snr.
  • 1756   The column at Gibside is completed at a cost of 2000. It stands some 140 feet high with a golden statue at its' top. The twelve foot sculpture of `British Liberty' was carved by from a block of stone by Christopher Richardson in 1756 within a temporary wooden shed built at the top
  • 1758    Swalwell Hoppings which had been held on Whit Monday for several years had for this year an advertisement proclaiming sports such as; `Dancing for Ribands, Grinning for tobacco, women running for smocks, foot races for men, ass races and a man who would eat a live cockerel, feathers entrails and all.'
  • 1758   Axwell all was rebuilt by James Paine for Sir Thomas Clavering. This replaced the old `White House' which was an Elizabethan era house.
  • 1760   The stone bridge known as `Swalwell Bridge' was built by Clavering to enable a better approach to his new Hall. This was erected on the site known as `Selbys Ford.'
  • 1760   The militia riots occurred this year.
  • 1762   The Crowley firm secures a special contract for anchors for pontoons to be used by the army in Germany. Orders increased during the period 1793-1815.
  • 1762   A Smallpox outbreak took the lives of 43 children from the 113 affected. Mr. Richard Lambert of the old Newcastle Infirmary (predecessor to the present RVI) and a practising surgeon and who had for many years been advocating the building of a smallpox clinic outside of the hospital heard of the villagers plight. He had for some time considered the use of inoculations to combat the disease and decided, on hearing the news, to try out his ideas. It is said that out of a total of 78 inoculated against smallpox only one person died.
  • 1765   By this time heavy chains were being made at Swalwell forge. The heaviest of these appears to have been made from links of three feet in diameter and weighing 250Ib each.
  • 1765   The great Pitmens' Insurrection or Stand. The principle of the miners' `Bonds' were at stake.. This was started by a rumour or `common fame' that the local coal owners had agreed that `no coal owner would hire anothers' man unless they produced a certificate of leave from their last master.' Also at this time young boys were allowed to work underground to operate ventilation shutters etc. On or about 14 August 1765 almost every pitman in the Northeast coalfield stopped work.
  • 1765   September 12th, three troops of dragoons, brought from York and were stationed at Newcastle barracks were used to police the coalfields. On September 17th various pits were set alight.
  • 1767   Mary Bowes, the only daughter of George, Married John Lyon. This united the two names and formed the Bowes-Lyon line.
  • 1769   John Bowes, Marys' eldest son was born.
  • 1770   William Raynes' wife, Mary died. She was held in high regard in the area.
  • 1771   Newcastle bridge is swept away in the floods and many low lying areas of Swalwell and Blaydon are devastated.
  • 1776   John Bowes Lyon died at the age of 39 leaving three sons and one daughter.
  • 1777   John Bowes' widow married Mr Andrew Robinson Stoney who soon after assumed the family name of Bowes. His mistreatment of his wife and her subsequent abduction led him to be imprisoned for three years. On leaving his internment he returned to his wife began again to mistreat her by confining her to a cupboard where she was said to be fed only on one biscuit and an egg a day. He died on January 16th 1810 and was buried at St. Georges' Church, London. The Countess of Strathmore had died ten years earlier
  • 1782   Theodosia Crowley died.
  • 1782   After Theodosias' death the factory was sold to Isiah Millington one of the long serving managers and became known as Crowley, Millington and Company.
  • 1783   John Rayne the son of William Rayne, Crowleys' first doctor, died aged 75 years.
  • 1790   Hawks & co introduce the Corts' rolling process to the Northeast.
  • 1792   The Toryism of the Crowley workers brought them into conflict with the Keelmen and miners. This came soon after the French revolution.
  • 1793   Crowleys' Crew `Hang' an effigy of Tom Payne at both Swalwell and Winlaton Mill. Ceremonies concluded with a grand chorus of `God save the King' accompanied by sundry volleys of small arms and cannon.
  • 1800   An offshoot waggonway was constructed which connected with the Main Western Way at Lockhaugh which carried coal from Garesfield colliery (which is situated near High Thornley).
  • 1800   Lady Mary Eleanor, Countess of Strathmore died and was buried in Westminster abbey dressed in her `superb bridal dress'
  • 1800   George Robson leaves the Crowley employment and sets up his own business making chains.
  • 1806   Isiah Millington dies and the business is taken over by his son Thomas.
  • 1808   Thomas Millington dies and his son, endowed with the loyal name of Crowley Millington, inherits the business at the tender age of 13.
  • 1809   The last service at St. Annes' chapel in Winlaton was performed.
  • 1810   Crucible steel was introduced to the Swalwell works but steel making supremacy had by now been yielded to Sheffield.
  • 1810   The part of the Main Western Way track from Pontop through Burnopfield and Rowlands Gill to Lockhaugh was closed. Later when the turnpike road to Shotley Bridge from Swalwell was constructed part of this was the original Main Way route from Rowlands gill.
  • 1810   Snow storms stop stagecoaches. The turnpikes are drifted up and 50 Keelmen are sent out from Ryton to clear Woodhouse lane.
  • 1812   Gibside chapel is completed.
  • 1814   John March of Greenside was attacked by two men on Mill Lane as he returned from the market at Darlington. A sum of £40 mostly in the form of Darlington and Durham banknotes was taken from him. A reward of £50 was subsequently offered.
  • 1815    The peace that came in this year saw a reduction of Admiralty orders. The need for nails, anchors, chains and other miscellaneous small ironware was reduced.
  • 1816   Crowley Millington son of Isaiah came of age. One of his first actions was, due to the prevailing economic climate to close the Winlaton factory.
  • 1816   Soon after the closure and because the benefits systemof the Crowleys Poor was stopped, the blacksmiths of the village organized the `Blacksmiths Friendly Society' to help those in need. The society held its' meetings at the `New Inn' which stood opposite the Crown and Cannon on the Sandhill. Skilled workmen left the area and settled in Rotherham and Sheffield.
  • 1817   The artist Turner is comissioned by Bowes to paint two scenes of Gibside. One of these looks north west down towards the Derwent valley from above the banqueting hall. The other looks southeast up the valley and clearly shows the column, Goodshields Haugh and the Race Dam or High Dam at the start of Crowleys mill race as seen from the `Scari Heights'
  • 1819   On October 11th, 80,000 people assembled at Newcastle Town Moor to protest against the recent `outrage at Manchester' (Peterloo). Crowleys men dressed in their white hats trimmed with green were prominent amongst the throng
  • 1820   July 20th, John Bowes aged 51 married Mary Milner of Staindop. Next day, July 21st, John died suddenly.
  • 1820   John Bowes' brother became Earl of Strathmore, Viscount Lyon and Baron Glamis.
  • 1826   George Stephenson designs and builds the new Bowes railway.
  • 1829   July 21st, work starts on the new bridge at Scotswood. On October 13th storms lash the bridgework and scaffolding etc. is washed away by the swollen Tyne.
  • 1829    William Shield in Burnu's street, London on January 25th. He was buried at Westminster Cathedral. In Whickham churchyard a monument erected to his memory was unveiled on October 19th 1891.
  • 1830-40   This decade saw the erection of the new parish church (St.Pauls) at Winlaton.
  • 1830   John English (Lang Jack, 6' 4" tall) arrives from Chester-le-Street to work as a stone mason on the new Scotswood Bridge
  • 1830   The Shotley Bridge turnpike up the Derwent Valley was opened. It followed the alongside the Garesfield waggonway in part, along the route of the `Main Western Way' to the present fork at the Towneley Arms then up the valley past Lintzford to Shotley.
  • 1831   The Dowager Countess of Strathmore married Sir William Hutt MP for Gateshead and lived together at Gibside.
  • 1831   Scotswood bridge is opened on April 16th. The first chain is suspended across the river on the 23rd of February and the last on the 5th of March.
  • 1831   January 9th, low ground in the vicinity of Swalwell and Dunston are flooded.
  • 1831   During the Reform campaign the men of Swalwell turned out in support of the reformers. At a demonstration at Durham in October, Charles Attwood heard of a plan to break up a reformist meeting organized a force of three hundred men from the Swalwell district. Armed with oak saplings from Gibside Crowleys Crew dealt effectively with the agitators and the meeting was held without any hindrance.
  • 1839    The Chartists are based at Winlaton and many of Crowleys Crew have become ardent supporters. Arms are made including guns or fowling pieces, hand grenades, Caltrops or `craas feet' and pikes. In August a man called Jacob Robinson of Winlaton was found to have two pike heads in his possession when taken to the Newcastle police office for disorderly conduct. Later there was news that the cavalry was being despatched to search the village for arms. One, `Jacky the glazier', (John McPherson) with a fife, and George Burrell using a drum, roused everyone to arms. The roads into the village were sealed, Fourteen cannon were positioned and filled with grapeshot. Nothing came of the troops but for years later pikes and other items were found in various hiding places.
  • 1842   Lang Jack helps build the three supports for the `Butterfly Bridge' at Eelshaugh.
  • 1842   The Bowes railway is extended.
  • 1849   Crowley Millington dies without any heirs and the management of the facilities was taken over by Fergus Graham.
  • 1850   The Swalwell works around this time was owned by a Mr. Laycock and then later by Messrs Ridley & Co. who ran a light engineering facility on the site until bought by Raine. Mr Laycock has the dubious fame as the man who burnt 150 years of historical company records when he confined them to the furnaces. This was to obliterate the principles which up to this time had ruled the prices and contracts, in order that he might dictate the terms of labour according to his own interests and will.
  • 1854   Lang Jack builds himself a house up Clockburn Lane on land given to him for his interest in politics. A bust, designed and carved by John Norvell of Swalwell is unveiled. This now stands on Whickham high street.
  • 1855   The Bowes railway is again extended.
  • 1857    The factories came into the possession, by marriage, of Scottish scientist Lyon Playford. It is assumed by many that it was Lyon Playford who made the decision to sell the Durham factories and almost bring to an end a business with nearly 180 years of continuous history.
  • 1860   May, Lady Strathmore died in London where she and Sir William Hutt sometimes lived.
  • 1863   February 10th, the works at Winlaton Mill were sold for a paltry sum of £780 to a company named Pow & Faucus. Swalwell had at that time two cementation and six crucible furnaces.
  • 1863   A new railway line is proposed for the Derwent valley.
  • 1864   An ironworks at Conside (Consett) was acquired by the Consett Iron Company. This had the effect of speeding up the work on the proposed new line up the Derwent Valley.
  • 1864   On July 29th tenders were received to construct the railway. The lowest, for £150,036, Messrs Morkill and Prudham of Duns was accepted. Mr. T. E. Harrison approved the tender in detail in September. Eventually the cost of the works were to be £163,000 after modifications were made to the original plan.
  • 1865    Preliminary work and some blasting started in August of that year for the new railway to Conside. Teams of `Navvies' were brought in to assist in the manual work of clearing trees and earth after blasting.
  • 1865   At this time, but sometime after 1860, the Low Forge* at Teams was being used as a pulp mill. Parts of the High Forge was incorporated into the farm buildings of William Burdon.
  • 1865   Lang Jack died and was buried at Whickham.
  • 1870   The Methodist chapel is erected on the turnpike road.
  • 1873   The North Eastern Railway co. ordered that `Block signal cabins' to be established, one of which was the very tall one at Rowlands Gill where the signalman could see over the turnpike road bridge.
  • 1876   The old Crowley works are purchased by Ridley and Co.
  • 1893   The new owners introduce a gas fired furnace which along with foundry working indicates the possible installation of an open hearth plant. This seems to suggest the manufacture of tool steel.
  • 1900   Around this time the original Garesfield Waggonway was re-routed through Thornley Wood (as distinct from its' route through Lockhaugh) and rebuilt as a ropeway, probably powered by gravity but assisted by steam. Cylinders, or rollers, both horizontal on straight stretches of track and vertical ones for the bends, were installed to allow free passage and operation of the ropes. A new stone bridge was built to carry the new line over the road down to the Mill. This was laid alongside the original wooden one but on the side away from the turnpike road.
  • 1900   Blaydon engine sheds were opened to repair locomotives used on the Derwent valley line. Most of the engines used on the line had been 0-8-0 types and mainly of the Raven Class T2.
  • 1910   Gibside hall was vacated.
  • 1915   The old steel rolling mills at Winlaton Mill were closed then transferred by Raine to the new Delta works at Derwenthaugh leaving the now ancient Crowley buildings empty.
  • 1915   The first motor coaches began services on the Shotley Bridge turnpike via Rowlands Gill and Winlaton mill to Newcastle.
  • 1924   Another great storm and heavy flood occurred this year.
  • 1926   During the General Strike the small drift mine up Clockburn Lane was reopened by the village men. Coal was taken away in lorries for use at hospitals etc. A police raid at six o'clock one morning reveals little coal at the village.
  • 1926   The old factory buildings at the Mill are demolished.
  • 1928   The building of the coke works, located between Winlaton Mill and Swalwell, and part of the Consett Iron Company is started.
  • 1930   The old village of Winlaton Mill is condemned as unsuitable for human habitation. Many of these houses were by now well over 230 years old.
  • 1933   Construction work on the new village is started by Mr. Barker the builder.
  • 1932   Old Mr. John Raine the last of his family to live at Barkwood House dies.
  • 1936   A local demolition contractor is brought in to clear the Crowley factory buildings.
  • 1937   The villagers start moving to their new homes. Commencing in April, this process took three months to complete.
  • 1950   The new metal `Butterfly' bridge was completed retaining supports at one end and in the centre which date from c.1842
  • 1942. The cost of the new bridge was around £600.

Other Required Reading

  • Frank Kojay Vale of Derwent (an unpublished manuscript)
  • James Paine Villas of James Paine
  • W. Bourne History of the Parish of Ryton
  • W. Bourne Annals of the Parish of Whickham

*  Note: The location of Teams High Forge is near to the North end of the Team Valley trading Estate. It is Southeast of the small bridge where Lobley Hill road crosses the river and close to the junction of Armstrong Road and Earlsway. Low Teams Forge is North of Lobley Hill road and is mostly buried beneath the present A692 dual carriageway into Gateshead beside the Gateshead Festival site.

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