Parish Church of Harraton
Harraton shown within Tyne and Wear
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|Unitary authority||Tyne & Wear|
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|EU Parliament||North East England|
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Harraton is a township in Chester-le-Street parish, and a sub-district in Chester-le-Street district, Durham. The township lies on the river Wear, and on the North-eastern railway; now a cyclist/footpath, 3 miles north-east of Chester-le-Street; includes the villages of Chaters-Hough, Fatfield, and Pictree; and forms part of the chapelry of Birtley.
The manor belonged to the Earl of Durham; and had his seat, Lambton Castle, on an eminence adjacent to the Wear. There is a chapel-school of the Established church, and chapels for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists. The sub-district contains Washington parish, and six townships and a chapelry of Chester-le-Street parish.
Coal was extensively worked; but the majority of the coal pits are exhausted.
Row Pit, Harraton Colliery was the scene of a fatal explosion on Monday, 30 June 1817. Some miners were sent ot work in an area of the colliery which was not free from firedamp and the men were expressly ordered to use safety lamps. One man, John Moody, ignored this instruction and was observed using a candle. The overman ordered Moody to extinguish the candle, which he did. Shortly afterwards Moody was again found using a candle and reprimanded. He extinguished the candle and lit his lamp. The overman had just left him when the explosion occurred. 38 of the 41 men underground were killed, including a grandfather, his two sons and seven grandsons.
Two days later eight workmen descended Nova Scotia Pit, part of the same colliery. When they did not return another party went down but were forced back by chokedamp. Late on the following day six bodies were recovered and there was "little hope of recovery for the other two". All eight were recorded as being buried on 5 July.
- Durham Mining Museum (2012), Harraton, Nova Scotia Pit, retrieved 17 February 2015
- Richardson, M A (1844), Local Historian's Table Book of Remarkable Occurrences Connected with the Counties of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland and Durham, retrieved 17 February 2015. Reproduced on the web site of The Durham Mining Museum
- St George's Church (2015), Welcome to St George's Church, retrieved 17 February 2015
- Thomson, Thomas, ed. (1817), "Explosion in a Durham Coal-pit", Annals of Philosophy X: 231 – 232. Copied from the Newcastle Chronicle of July 5.
- University of Portsmouth (2014), "Harraton, County Durham", A Vision of Britain through Time, retrieved 17 February 2015
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