Silksworth

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New Silksworth is a former coal mining village in Sunderland, formerly located between the villages of Tunstall, and Silksworth. The former colliery being situated to the north west of the village near to the Gilley Law

Silksworth a brief history: New Silksworth is a former colliery village with a 100 year coal mining heritage. In 1871, according to the Census there were approx 400 people living in the Silksworth and Tunstall areas, the local area was mainly farmland and most people worked on the land. Then to exploit the rich coal reserves in the area the Silksworth Colliery shaft was sunk in 1869 funded by Lord Londonderry. Ten years later in 1879 the local population had risen to 4707 for the Silksworth and Tunstall areas. The increase in population was mainly due to the migration of people to the area seeking work at the new Silksworth colliery. According to the census returns the miners came from Ireland, Scotland, Cornwell and even from the United States and Germany. The miners and their families had moved to the colliery areas seeking employment and also colliery housing was provided for the miners by the mine owner Lord Londonderry. The miners life was not an easy one, working conditions underground were very dangerous and the work very arduous. When Silksworth Colliery eventually closed in 1971 it was a massive blow to the local community as many of the local people and businesses relied on the colliery for their livelihood. Just about all remnants of the former Silksworth colliery have now gone and the former mine site has since been converted into Silksworth Sports Complex. Facilities at the sports complex include:

  • Silksworth Ski Slope the North East of England's largest artificial ski slope and activity centre.
  • Recreational boating lake near Gilley Law which is home to a variety of water fowl birds, ducks, swans and also near the boating lake is a freshwater fishing lake.
  • Silksworth Community Swimming Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre formally The Puma Centre including a children's Outdoor Adventure Play Area which is a great facility for kids and toddlers with swings, zip wire, climbing frames, slides, sand pit and pic nic area etc.
  • Athletics Running track
  • All weather floodlit football pitches
  • Skateboard park (Near the Ski slope)

Notable buildings: DOXFORD HOUSE formerly SILKSWORTH HOUSE.

Doxford House is a derelict 18th century mansion house adjacent Doxford Park in the Silksworth area of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. It is a Grade II* listed building

The mansion house formerly known as Silksworth House, was constructed in 1775–1780 by William Johnson who on his death in 1792 left the property in his will to his friend Hendry Hopper. In 1831 Priscilla Hopper then heiress to the estate married William Beckwith of Thurcroft. He was High Sheriff of Durham in 1857. The Beckwiths moved to Shropshire in about 1890 and the house was let out.

In 1902, Charles David Doxford of William Doxford & Sons, brother of Theodore Doxford, took out a 99 year lease on the 24-acre (97,000 m2) estate. On his death in 1935, his daughter, Aline, bought out the lease. On her death in 1968, she bequeathed the house and estate to Sunderland Corporation who gave the house its present name Doxord House and turned the gardens into Doxford Park.

In 1989 the house became a students’ hall of residence for Sunderland University and from about 2000 to 2006 was occupied by the Lazarus Foundation, a drug rehabilitation charity. Plans to turn the house into apartments were proposed in 2008 but the conversion of the house into apartments was never carried out.

The latest proposal for re development of Doxford House is to restore the property back into a private family residence with work ongoing in 2014.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.thestatcat.co.uk/Player.aspx?PlayerID=792

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