NZ1364 : Capped mine shaft, Clara Vale Nature Reserve

taken 14 years ago, near to Crawcrook, Gateshead, England

Capped mine shaft, Clara Vale Nature Reserve
Capped mine shaft, Clara Vale Nature Reserve
The capped shaft shows that the Nature Reserve just outside the village was the site of Clara Vale Colliery. In 1889 the two shafts of Clara Vale Pit were sunk by the Stella Coal Company. They were 68 fathoms deep, to the Brockwell Seam. It was noted as the first pit to use a turbine-driven fan supplied by Parsons and installed in 1897. In the same year, the pit produced 180,000 tons of coal and at its height employed nearly a thousand men. There is an old undated photo of the pit here LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link )
The National Coal Board took it over in 1947. The pit was closed in 1966 for economic reasons. The site reverted back to nature and villagers successfully campaigned to protect it. In 1986 it became a Nature Reserve managed by the Clara Vale Conservation Group. Ponds have been created, two hides built and hedges planted. The reserve includes a wide range of different habitats: woodland, meadow, wetland, streams and ponds. More than 200 types of flowering plants, 16 butterflies and over 100 bird species LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link ) have been recorded.
Information taken from boards set up at the entrances to the site.
Clara Vale

Clara Vale came into existence as a purpose built colliery community in the late C19th. Built by the Stella Coal Company, it thrived next to the nearby pit of Claravale. However, by the 1960s, the mine closed down. So too had many other nearby pits such as Emma, Greenside and Stargate.
The village was one of those listed as Category D (no development, property to be acquired and demolished and the population relocated to new housing) by Durham Council in the 1960s but the community remained and have retained a vibrant and active spirit although with employment elsewhere. Clara Vale became incorporated into the new metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear in 1974 and later became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead.
The village is now one of 22 Conservation Areas ("areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance") designated by Gateshead Borough Council.
The essence of the model colliery village has been retained from the lack of new development in the immediate area, unlike neighbouring Ryton and Crawcrook, and from the few remaining colliery and community buildings.
There are few local amenities in the village, no shop or pub, but there are three golf courses nearby, and a wide range of community-led social events and clubs.

Clara Vale in Wikipedia: LinkExternal link
The 'model' colliery village of Clara Vale is described here Tyne and Wear HER(5156): Clara Vale, Colliery Village LinkExternal link
Clara Vale Colliery on Durham Mining Museum's site LinkExternal link
Category D villages in County Durham LinkExternal link
Ryton & District Local History Society: Archive LinkExternal link
Old photos on Gateshead Local Studies: LinkExternal link

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Category: Coal pit (disused)
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · Clara Vale Colliery [7] · Nature Reserve [4] Other Photos: · Pond, Clara Vale Nature Reserve ·
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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NZ1364, 38 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Andrew Curtis   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Thursday, 30 December, 2010   (more nearby)
Friday, 31 December, 2010
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 1315 6481 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:58.6636N 1:47.7649W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 1315 6482
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
Clickable map
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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