Home > Memories > Ushaw Moor Colliery / Broompark colliery.

Ushaw Moor Colliery / Broompark colliery.



I found this article very interesting.Last paragraphs mention broompark, but also interesting to note that both Broompark and ushaw moor collierys opened at the same time.



 Archive – Friday, 6 February 2004

Discovery of coal on moors leads to development of village

USHAW Moor is a former mining village on the north side of the River Deerness, half way between Durham and Esh Winning.

Centrally located among the mining communities of the Deerness and Browney, roads from neighbouring places converge upon a crossroads at the village centre.

The crossroads was there long before Ushaw Moor came into being, although there was no housing in the 1850s when the nearest structures were Cockhouse

Farm, half a mile west and Broom Hall on a hill to the east.

Ushaw Moor’s mining community was born in the second half of the 19th Century on previously empty moorland. Some settlement had come in the early 19th

Century when Ushaw College opened, but this famous institution existed half a century before Ushaw Moor itself.

There had been an earlier farming settlement called Ushaw, first mentioned in 1312. Now gone, it was possibly located where College Farm stands.

 Early spellings suggest Anglo-Saxons called Ushaw “Ulfs Shaw” meaning Wolf’s Wood but it may be named after Ulf, a man who held land west of Durham in

the 12th Century.

Little is known of early Ushaw, except that a bake-house belonging to the Batmanson family existed here in the 17th and 18th centuries, perhaps where the

college now stands. It was a communal establishment used by the poor and needy for a small fee.

Ushaw’s moorland, originally called Middlewood Moor, lay mostly east of the early settlement. For centuries small-scale drift mining was undertaken at nearby

places such as Esh, but in 1755 attempts to reach coal on the moor ended in failure.

In 1858, the Pease family opened a railway through the Deerness Valley to serve the colliery at Waterhouses which stimulated the development of more mines.

After the successful finding of coal, Ushaw Moor Colliery opened about 1870. Its first owners were probably the Holliday family who owned drift mines near

old Esh and Hilltop. By 1873 it belonged to John Sharp but passed to the aristocratic Henry Chaytor of Witton Castle in 1879.

Ushaw Moor’s first colliery village developed on the north side of Cockhouse Lane (the B6302), three quarters of a mile west of the present village.

The early colliery village included West Terrace, East Terrace and Double Row while the colliery lay on the opposite side of the road, overlooking the

 Deerness. The colliery and terraces were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s and are now empty fields.

Deerness View, a lonely hamlet on the B6302, now stands near the site. This came later, in the mid-20th Century, but the terraces of the first colliery

 village lay in the fields to its east.

There had been development of buildings around the crossroads in what is now the centre of Ushaw Moor before the 1890s.

 Buildings included a pub called the Flass Inn, but the population was concentrated in the terraces further west.

Cockhouse Lane leads to Esh Winning and Waterhouses, but before those collieries developed it terminated at Flass Hall, a mile east of Ushaw Moor.

The hall’s name derives from an Old Danish word, Flask, meaning swamp and has the same meaning as Flass Vale in Durham.

Established in the 1570s, it lies on the site of a medieval farm and is marked on Saxton’s map of Durham in 1576.

The hall’s first occupant was William Brass who was succeeded by his son, Cuthbert in 1600.

The last Brass at Flass still lived there in 1697 when it became the hall of the Hall family.

By the 19th Century, Flass belonged to Jane Smythe, of Esh Hall, who married Sir Robert Peat, a friend of the Prince Regent.

Robert had serious gambling debts and probably married Jane for money.

Later, they were estranged, partly because of Jane’s kleptomaniac tendencies. She chose to live in Sunderland, renting Flass Hall to the Reverend Temple

Chevalier of Esh village while her property at Cockhouse Farm was leased to John Leadbiter of Gateshead.

Flass Hall became a property of the Peases in the 1920s before passing in the 1930s to a local farmer who kept pigs in the house. It was taken over by the

National Coal Board in 1947 and converted into private houses in the late 1960s. Locally it is called “haunted house”, but the identity of its spectral

resident, if indeed there is one, remains a mystery.

Broom Hall is another notable hall. Once situated in empty fields east of the village until almost swallowed by Ushaw Moor’s housing developments in the

1960s, it belonged to the Batmanson family in the later half of the 16th Century.

Broom Hall is really associated with the little village of Broom to the east. Broom is now called Broompark but this was really the name for an adjoining

colliery village that developed in the 19th Century.

The colliery village has gone and is now occupied by housing development called Cookes Wood, but older parts of Broom including several old farmhouses


Broompark is only separated from Ushaw Moor by a road and recreation ground. Mining had taken place on a small scale here since the 1300s when its coal was

sold to the Prior of Bearpark. North Brancepeth Colliery Company which also operated Littleburn colliery opened the colliery about 1870 on the site of a

mysterious medieval moat. The colliery closed in 1904 after a major fire from which the miners escaped by means of an old drift.

One intriguing feature of Broompark is the Loves public house. Built in the 19th Century it was originally called Love’s Hotel after Joseph Love,

a Durham coal owner who owned a brick foundry. He is thought to have built the pub with his bricks, each perhaps inscribed with the word Love.

* In next week’s Durham Memories we look at the troublesome history of Ushaw Moor Colliery.

Published: 06/02/2004

If you have any memories of Durham City, Chester-le-Street, Derwentside or the Durham coast, including old photos or stories of people and places you would

like to share with readers of The Northern Echo, write to David Simpson, Durham Memories, The Northern Echo, Priestgate, Darlington, DL1 1NF or

email David.Simpson@nne.co.uk. All photos will be returned.

  1. Sheila Hall
    February 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    This information on Ushaw Moor is extremely interesting – thank you for posting such a good piece of local history. Interesting to see how long the Flass Inn has been in existence. Does anyone know why the Albion House Club was called the Bush?

  2. February 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Sheila Hall :

    Does anyone know why the Albion House Club was called the Bush?

    Not sure about that one, but am sure someone knows the answer 🙂

  3. February 16, 2013 at 5:16 am

    More mention of flass hall here~

    Also found some old interesting info on Ushaw and the area from this book called – Hunting in many countries. Chapter 1 covers the north Durham – Page 21 onwards i could not stop reading. ~

  4. February 22, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Today I called in the Flass in a attempt to find out why the Bush was so called. Spoke with Ted Jones 80 yrs, an old mate of mine but he didn’t know. He spoke of a pub called the ” Bottom House ” which he recalled in his youth that had an old wood burning fire that Cudd Hall who had horses and stables out the back cooked kippers on. Must have been a lovely smell in that pub. Although Ted drank in the bottom house he could not remember what it was called.

    • frank clarke
      February 23, 2013 at 7:49 am

      The Station Hotel

  5. February 23, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Have just read at http://www.midlandspubs.co.uk ” It was the Romans who introduced inn signs to Great Britain. A branch of greenery tied to a pole and placed outside a building would identify it as a taberna ( or tavern ) and the sign was called an alestake or a bush – hence perhaps the oldest pub name The Bush.

    • February 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

      A branch of greenery tied to a pole and placed outside a building would identify it as a taberna ( or tavern ) and the sign was called an alestake or a bush

      Great research Peter,, interesting stuff 🙂

  6. March 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    broompark colliery

    broompark colliery burnt down august 4th 1904

  7. March 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    albion club at ushaw moor

    • March 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      Great photo -) hadn’t seen that one before. What date is that.

  8. March 11, 2013 at 2:23 am

    ronald kitching :


    broompark colliery


    broompark colliery burnt down august 4th 1904

    Thanks for posting those pictures. havent seen these before and there was not even a trace left of that pit head or those buildings when i lived there in the 50s. All that was there was a huge flat black area about half a mile square and a building with a conveyor for loading coal into the trains.
    This photo can be seen here in Roy Lamberths train photos. Its about the 23rd photo and shows train – 67690 heading into Broompark siding and the old village can be seen in the distance through the smoke of the train.


  9. March 11, 2013 at 10:55 am

    found a couple more images one of a group people in broompark hut and a cricket team all from the 50s


  10. March 12, 2013 at 3:54 am

    The Christmas party for the kids was held in the hut just behind the Loves hotel where there was a little track that led to the top of the main street and the hut was on the left side of the track and the school yard wall was on the right side.That hut was divided into 2 sections and i think the school still used one half and the other half was used for group meetings and crafts etc. That photo must be very early 50.s. We started using the Presbyterian Church hall behind front street for Christmas party’s and dances etc.
    The cricket team also i do not recognise anyone although the man on the right with the cap and coat does resemble my grandfather who i have posted on wordpress before. Some of the faces look familiar.The location doesnt ring any bells so it might have been taken when they were playing away. The small stone wall on the left.? I can recall only seeing that type of wall at the front of Broom farm and Broom farm west but the houses at the right in the background cant be there if taken at the front of the farm.

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