Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 4/On the Geology of Northumberland and Durham

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I. Observations on the Geology of Northumberland and Durban:.

By N. J. WINCH, Esq.
honorary member of the geological society.

Read March 18th, 1814.[1]

Considering the great importance of the coal and lead mines, and of the quarries of Northumberland and Durham, and the opportunities which they offer to geological research, it is rather singular that no history of the physical structure of these counties has yet been laid before the public. It is however well known that much interesting information on these subjects has long been accumulating and is widely diffused among the professional conductors of the mines. I have endeavoured in the following paper to combine some of these scattered materials with the substance of my own observations, and to give a general outline of the several formations that compose our district. I have added short descriptions of the principal rocky strata belonging to these formations, and catalogues of such of their metallic ores, crystallized minerals, and organic remains, as have come under my notice.

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I. Red Marl or Sandstone.

In the south-eastern part of the county of Durham a series of strata occurs, among which a fine grained sandstone of a brick-red colour, effervescing with acids, predominates. This rock may be seen in the bed of the Tees at the distance of more than a mile west of Croft bridge; thence it follows the course of the river to the sea, and may be traced at some little distance from its northern bank through Hurworth, Nesham, Sockbum, &c. beyond the town of Stockton, forming rocks on the sea shore between Seaton and Hartlepool. Opposite Sockburn, Mr. Allen of Grange, lately bored in search of coal to the depth of 118 fathoms, without passing through these beds; and at Dinsdale, situated on the northern bank of the Tees, three miles and a half north-east of Croft bridge, in the year 1789, the late General Lambton penetrated to the depth of 74 fathoms without better success. I have obtained five sections of the workings at Dinsdale, and have communicated them, together with the present paper, to the Society. The strata are numerous, and consist (as far as one can judge from the miner's language) of white, grey, or red sandstone with occasional partings of a more compact nature, red or blue shale, coaly matter in thin layers, and gypsum in nodules or in beds; the latter are mentioned in one case as being three feet in thickness. The lowest bed in the two deepest workings was a strong white rock of a calcareous nature.

I should not have inserted these rude sections in the appendix (No. 1) to this paper had it not been for an opinion prevailing in Yorkshire, that coal will be found among these measures, and I hope by the publication of this document to prevent the future waste of capital

on similar trials.
Northumberland and Durham.

From one of these bore-holes, at a place called Woodhead, near the Tees, a sulphuretted water issued, similar to the Harrowgate spa.[2] It arose from a bed of blue stone lying beneath a bed of gypsum at the depth of nineteen fathoms two feet six inches from the surface. Another sulphuretted spring rises from similar strata at Croft on the south side of the Tees, where baths have been erected for medical purposes.

There can be little doubt that the sandstone we have been describing is analogous to that extensive formation of the same substance and colour which is found in Nottinghamshire to the west of the magnesian limestone, and it probably may be traced in continuity from the banks of the Tees through Yorkshire into the neighbouring county.

II. Magnesian limestone.

To the north-west of the red sandstone the Magnesian or Sunderland limestone is found. In the cliffs at Cullercoats in Northumberland, a dyke well known by the name of the ninety fathom dyke, is seen dislocating the coal-measures, and passing into the sea. Here is the northern extremity of the western boundary of the magnesian limestone. A few masses again occur among the rocks of Sandstone and slate-clay, upon which Tynemouth castle stands; but it is on the coast in the neighbourhood of South Shields in the county of Durham that this formation first becomes extensive. From this point it swells into a range of low round-topped hills, and is seen stretching towards the south-west, protruding into the Coal-field, and forming an undulating lime by Cleadon, Boldon, Clacks Heugh upon the Wear near Hilton castle, Painshaw, Houghton-le-Spring, Sherburn, Coxhoe, Ferry hill on the turnpike road leading from Durham to Darlington, Merrington, Eldon, Brussleton, Morton, Langton, and Sellaby, till it reaches the Tees below Winston bridge thirty miles west-south-west of that river's junction with the sea, and forty—four miles from the Tyne at South Shields. The sea coast forms its eastern boundary for twenty-seven miles and a half from the Tyne to the rocks of Hartlepool, and the red sandstone already mentioned from Hartlepool to the termination of that rock west of Croft bridge.

The same bed is afterwards continued through Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, to the neighbourhood of Nottingham, where it suddenly terminates.

Of the hills of this rock, protruded into the Coal-field, Painshaw near Lambton appears to be the highest, being probably not less than 400 feet above the level of the sea. Kirk Merrington, situated on one of these hills may also be seen to a considerable distance.

The quarry at Whitby near Cullercoats affords the geologist an excellent opportunity of ascertaining that the magnesian limestone overlies the coal-measures, and that the latter were consolidated before the limestone was deposited upon them. I shall therefore describe that curious spot.

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A hollow space formed like a basin or trough is filled with the limestone.[3] The length of this from east to west is about a mile; the breadth from north to south four hundred yards, the depth seventy feet. The beds pass over the ninety-fathom-dyke; which has occasioned in them no confusion or dislocation; so that there can be little hazard in stating that the beds of the magnesian limestone belong to a more recent formation than those of the Coal-field. The limestone has been quarried across its whole breadth, and a numerous set of thin strata are thus exhibited to view. At the surface loose blocks of bluish grey coralloid limestone, the produce of the lead mine district are found imbedded in the soil. Three or four of the uppermost strata of the quarry are of white slaty limestone, which being nearly free from iron, burns into a pure white lime. Below these an ash-grey fine grained stratum is met with, which strongly resembles a sandstone, and seems to contain nearly as much iron as the ferri-calcite of Kirwan, becoming magnetic by the action of the blow-pipe: it produces a brownish yellow lime, less esteemed for agricultural purposes than the former. The beds next in succession are of an ash-grey colour, are compact in texture, and conchoidal in fracture: these afford a buff coloured lime, which sells for pearly the same price as the white. Near the bottom of the quarry the limestone alternates with shale; the whole rests upon a stratum of shale on the southern side, and upon a thick bed of sandstone on the northern. The shale has been cut through to a considerable distance from the kilns in the direction of North Shields, for the purpose of laying a rail-way to the Tyne. The thickness of the limestone strata varies from three or four inches to as many feet. Small strings of galena have been found here, and, in one of the strata that was walled up when I visited the quarry, a few organic remains have been noticed.

The stone intended to be burnt is detached from the rock by the agency of fire, during which process those portions which contain iron become of a brick-red colour. Considerable quantities of fuel are found necessary at the kiln, and some parts of the rock are too apt to vitrify in the process, an accident to which the crystalline limestone of Sunderland is not liable.

Along the coast of Durham from Shields to Hartlepool, the uppermost bed frequently consists of a species of breccia, the cement of which is a marl-like substance consisting chiefly of magnesian carbonate of lime, and with this breccia wide chasms or interruptions in the cliff are filled. The next strata are thin and slaty, but lower down the stratification becomes less distinct. The colour of this rock is then light hair brown, the texture crystalline and cellular, from which latter cause it strongly resists the stroke of the hammer. The slaty variety occurs at Bolden hills, Marsden rocks, and numerous other places; its colour is white inclining to buff; dendritical marks may be found between the thin layers into which it easily breaks; and in Marsden lane and on the sea coast a flexible kind has lately been noticed by Mr. Nichol. In the neighbourhood of Sunderland[4] the brown variety is generally quarried; it partakes of the nature of swinestone, and from containing some inflammable matter requires only a small quantity of coal to be reduced to lime. That worked at Denton, not far from the Tees, and analyzed by the Rev. J. Holme, is, I suspect, of this quality, for he mentions bitumen, as one of its constituents; whereas Sir H. Davy takes no notice of that substance in the rocks of Eldon and Aycliff.

Analysis of 100 parts of Limestone..
By the Ref. J. Holme By Sir H. Davy.
From Denton From Eldon From Aycliff
Carbonate of Lime 63 52.      48.9
───────── of Magnesia 34 45.2 46.6
Alumina, Red Oxide of Iron and Bitumes   2.25 Iron   1.1     1.56
Water     .25 Residuum 1.7   2.8
──── ──── ────
100. 100. 100.

In a quarry at Hartlepool I have noticed a stratum of hard white oolite, the grains composing it being about the size of a mustard seed; but, unlike the Ketton and Riflington roe-stones, it contains no shells or marine exuviæ. I have found at the same place a bed of pale buff coloured limestone of an earthy fracture, punctured with holes not larger than a needle's point. The ornamental parts of the old exchange at Newcastle were carved out of these two varieties of stone.

The four lowest strata of Mr. Goodchild's quarries at Pallion near Sunderland, constitute another variety. Its colour is a dirty light brown; but taking a tolerably good polish it is sold as a marble. In lustre and hardness it resembles a stalagmite; it is met, with at the depth of eleven fathoms from the surface.

In Castle Eden Dean there are cliffs of this rock well worthy of notice; and the perforated rocks at Marsden and Hartlepool, and the caverns at the latter place, at Black-hall near Easington, and on the coast near Monk Wearmouth, deserve the attention of the geologist. These curious and picturesque objects appear to have been formed at no very distant date by the action at the sea, which has dissolved and washed out the soil: marly limestone, with which the cavities of these rocks were once filled. From this cause the promontory, on which Hartlepool stands, is rapidly crumbling away.

It is well ascertained that the magnesian limestone of this district, as is the case with that of Derbyshire and Yorkshire, rests upon the coal-measures. No coal mine however has yet been won in Northumberland or Durham, by sinking a shaft through the limestone, although the workings of some collieries situated on its western boundary have been carried underneath it. It is therefore a matter of great importance to those who have royalties within its limits to know under what thickness of limestone the coal measures are buried; whether after passing under the limestone they continue to dip at the same angle as before, and whether the quality or thickness of the coal-seams is then altered.

I have not been able to ascertain what is the total thickness of the limestone; but at Hart, near to Hartlepool, a bore—hole was made in it to the depth of 52 fathoms, without penetrating through it. This spirited undertaking was then frustrated from the perforation being filled with sand and water. At Pallion, a little to the west of Sunderland, the limestone was only 12 fathoms thick, below which the coal measures were bored through to the depth of 140 fathoms without finding a coal seam worth working.

Along the coast of Durham from Shields to Hartlepool the limestone strata dip to the south-east. At Chapted main near South Shields, the coal measures, although approaching the limestone, rise towards the sea, in conformity to their direction on the north side of the Tyne; but at Painshaw, New bottle, Rainton, &c. they dip to the south-east, the limestone being there protruded into the Coal-field beyond the prolongation of that line, from which the coal measures that are without covering begin to rise in an eastern direction. It appears therefore that their dip is not affected by the limestone. It is a circumstance however too well ascertained to admit of a doubt, though difficult to be accounted for, that the coal is deteriorated in quality where covered by the limestone.

Galena is the only metallic ore that I have observed in this limestone. It has been found in small strings at Whitby quarry, Clacks-heugh Blackhall-rocks, Ryehope, and amongst the rocks below Tynemouth castle: at the latter place calcareous spar is the matrix.

The crystallized fossils are small crystals of calcareous spar, formed in groups of acute three-sided pyramids; sometimes white and opaque; at other times yellowish or hair brown and translucent, lining cavities of buff marly limestone; from the cliffs near South Shields and Marsden.

Botryoidal masses of fetid limestone devoid of magnesia, in balls varying from the size of a pea to two feet in diameter, imbedded in soft, marly, magnesian limestone, are found at Hartlepool, in the quarry at Building hill, near Sunderland, and on the sea-coast a mile or two north of Monk Wearmouth. These balls are radiated from the center, their colour hair brown, fracture shining, cross fracture splendent approaching to vitreous: white calcareous spar is frequently observed within them. See Sowerby, Brit. Min. tab. 38.

Stalactitical fetid limestone. See Sowerby, tab. 148. These cellular masses resemble corallines, and are also met with in the marly limestone above described.

Organic remains are rarely met with in this limestone. The most remarkable one was found in a quarry at Low Pallion. It is the impression of a fish,[5] which appears to belong to the genus Chætodon. In length it is about 8; inches, and 4 in breadth. The dorsal fin, reaches from the middle of the back to the tail.

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From Humbleton quarry, situated mile from Bishop Wearmouth, on the road to Durham, I have received the following specimens, imbedded in hard buff-coloured crystalline limestone.

1. Caste of the internal part of the vertebral column of the Cap Encrinite. See Parkinson, vol. 2. tab. 10. fig. 4.

2. A species of Dona: with hair-like spines.

3. Casts of reticulated Alcyonite. Parkinson, vol. 2. tab. 10. fig. I, 2, 3.

4. Smooth shelled bivalves, from the sine of a pen to that of a cockle, resembling those of the genus Donax.

5. Small round bodies, delineated by Parkinson, vol. 2. tab. 8. fig. 10.

6. Casts of bivalves, resembling muscles.

7. Casts of Arcæ and Anomiæ. Sowerby, Brit. Min. tab. 55.

8. Impressions of a reticulated marine production resembling the genus Flustra.

III. Coal Measures.

The coal-seams and the rocky strata which together constitute the coal-formation of Newcastle and Sunderland, are in part covered by the magnesian limestone, and rest upon the lead-mine measures. They occupy a hollow, or trough, of which the extreme length from the Alklington colliery, near the Coquet, in the north, to Cockfield, in the neighbourhood of West-Auckland, is 58 miles; and the breadth, from Bywill on the Tyne, to the sea-shore, is 24 miles. This formation first makes its appearance on the south bank of the Coquet, near that river's junction with the sea, and bounds the coast of Northumberland as a south-south-eastern direction for 23 miles. It then crosses the mouth of the Tyne; after which the magnesian limestone begins to cover a part of it, and continues to intrude more and more upon it until both approach the Tees. The distance from South Shields to Cockfield is 32 miles in a south-westerly direction. The western side of this district cannot be so easily defined, since many of the lead-mine measures strongly resemble those of the coals field; but when the Mill-stone grits (a coarse-grained sandstone so called) and the Blue Encrinal limestone, are seen cropping out, one may then be sure that the boundary of the coal formation is passed. However, if a line be drawn from the vicinity of Aklington on the Coquet, to cross the Tyne at Bywill, the Derwent near Allansford, and the Wear below Wolsingham, and to terminate at Cockfield, a tolerably correct idea may be formed of its western limits.

This district is characterized by low round-topped hills, which rise gently from the sea, and increase in height towards the west. Pontop pike, situated on the Derwent, not far from the western boundary of the coal-field, is reckoned by Mr. Fenwick of Dipton, to be very near 1000 feet high, and a pit sunk near the summit proves that it cannot be much less. That part of Newcastle Leases which lies close to Spring Gardens, and the western turnpike gate, is ascertained to be 190 feet above the level of the Tyne, and 205 above the sea. Benwell hills to the west, and Gateshead Fell to the south, are somewhat higher.

The inequality of the surface does not affect the dip or inclination of the coal measures; and when they are interrupted or cut of by the intervention of a valley, they will be found on the sides of the opposite hills at the same levels, as if the beds had been continuous. Thus the Grindstone bed may be seen on Byker hill, Gateshead Fell, and Whickham Banks, though no where in the vales of the Tyne and the Team, which severally intersect those elevated portions of land. The conclusion is obvious, that the present irregularity of hill and dale has been occasioned by the partial destruction and dispersion of the uppermost rocky masses, which constitute the coal formation.

That part of the trough in which the greatest thickness of the coal measures is found, seems to lie in the vicinity of Jarrow; and from this point the beds appear to rise to some considerable distance on each side, particularly in a western direction. The average dip of the coal measures is 1 inch in 20; but this inclination is by no means uniform in every part of the district. Thus that seam of coal called the High Main which lies buried at Jarrow, under 160 fathoms of beds of stone, soon rises to the clay in a north-easterly direction, and bassets out in the cliffs between Cullercoats and Tynemouth. In its north-westerly range it reaches Benwell hills, and at Pontop nearly 18 miles due west of the sea shore at Sunderland it is met with at 38 fathoms from the surface. In a southerly direction it is found at 52 fathoms on Gateshead Fell, but bassets out before it reaches the Wear.

The principal substances besides coal, which constitute the Coal formation, are shale and sandstone; which as they vary in hardness or colour receive different provincial names from the miners. It is not possible to discover in the Coal measures any regular order of succession, which will apply to the whole Coalfield, and it is even with difficulty that in very limited portions of it the continuity of particular seams can be traced. This arises from the variable thickness and the rapid enlargement and contraction of the different beds; that which in one section is scarcely perceptible, having attained in a neighbouring pit the thickness of several fathoms. It is thus that the Five Quarter coal seam of the mines on the Wear is divided into the Metal and Stone-Coal seams of Sheriff Hill, and that the Low-main seam of the Wear becomes the Five Quarter and Six Quarter seams of the Tyne and Gateshead Fell. Thus also in Brandling and Hebburn collieries a parting of stone first divides and afterwards usurps the place of the High Main coal seam; and thus the two upper coal seams that are well worth working (see the section of Montague colliery north) at Kenton, are no longer so in the neighbouring colliery of Killingworth. The following is an account of a similar occurrence in Montague colliery, abridged from an unpublished Memoir, by Mr. Thomas, of Denton, on the dykes found in that mine. Within the Newbiggin Stone-Coal seam, at 20 inches from the floor, there is a band of a soft clayey substance 1 inch thick: but the band increasing in thickness towards the east, the coal is divided into two distinct seams, whose aggregate thickness is less than that of the original seam. At the distance of 1000 yards to the east, and 300 yards north of the main dyke,[6] the band is 24 feet thick; the upper coal seam 6 inches; the lower 16 inches. The band decreases towards the north at the rate of something more than 1 inch per yard; and the coal at the same time increasing, the upper and lower parts are so nearly united at the distance of 160 yards, as to form again a workable seam. The upper coal then measures 21 inches, the lower 24, and the band 15.

It is useless therefore to attempt any general section of the Coal formation; and it will be seen in the sections subjoined to this paper, how difficult it is from want of uniformity in the beds to identify the coal seams in the vicinity of Newcastle. I refer to the sections of Hebburn and of Sheriff hill, as exhibiting when taken in succession, a series of Coal measures of the thickness of about 270 fathoms. In the former colliery are the beds which lie above the High Main coal; in the latter principally those which lie beneath it; together they present the entire order of the coal seams, that are best understood in the Newcastle district: but it will be seen even in these two examples, what want of agreement there is in the beds which lie in the two sections above the High Main coal.

The most valuable seam in the whole Coalfield in point of thickness and quality is that called the High Main, of the mines situated between Newcastle and Shields. It there averages above 6 feet from the roof to the floor, contains a large proportion of bitumen, and is sufficiently hard to bear carriage without breaking into very small fragments. From this the owners of Old Byker, Byker St. Anthony's, Walker, Walker Hill, Willington, Old Benton, and Flatworth mines, formerly drew their riches; and it continues to supply the present proprietors of Hartley, Blyth, and Cowpen, north of the 90 fathom Dyke; of Heaton, Bigge's Main, Wall's End, Pevey Main, Collingwood Main, and Marton Collieries on the north side of the Tyne, and of Hebburn, Jarrow, and Manor's Wall's End, on the south side of that river. I have already described in part the basseting of this coal seam along the course of an oval line, of which Jarrow is the centre; from which some idea may be formed of the extent of country which it underlies north of the 90 fathom Dyke. At a land-sale pit, a little above the Ouse burn Bridge, near Newcastle, this seam was found at 14 fathoms; but on the Town-moor, from the numerous vestiges of ancient pits, it appears to be exhausted.

The lower seams under the same lands are without doubt untouched. Wallis, in the history of Northumberland, gives an account of a fire happening in the High Main coal, about 140 years ago, on the Town-moor and Fenham estates, which continued to burn for 30 years. It began at Benwell about a quarter of a mile north of the Tyne, and at last extended itself northward into the grounds of Fenham, nearly a mile from where it first appeared. There were eruptions at Fenham in nearly 20 places; sulphur and sal-ammoniac being sublimed from the apertures; but no stones of magnitude ejected.[7] Red ashes and burnt clay, the relics of this pseudo-volcano, are still to be seen on the western declivity of Benwell hill, and it is credibly reported that the soil in some parts of the Fenham estate, has been rendered unproductive by the action of the fire.

At Byker St. Anthony's, and at an adjoining colliery, the Low Main coal is found at 59 fathoms below the High Main; but though the seam proved to be 6½ feet thick, the workings of it were abandoned as unprofitable; the coal being extremely fragile, and the mines very subject to the fire damp. On the south side of the Tyne, at Felling, Tyne Main, and Gateshead Fell, the quality of this coal is very much improved, and under the name of the Hutton Main, it forms one of the most valuable seams on the Wear.

I must refer to the series of sections for a more complete view of the other coal seams.

I now proceed to give a more particular account of the substances that form the coal measures.

Of the coal itself three varieties are found; the common or Slate coal, Cannel coal, here called Splint, or Parrot coal, and Coarse coal, also called Splint.

The texture of line splint is compact, the cross fracture conchoidal, and the fragments are cubical. Coarse coal is slaty in its texture, and it seems to be intermediate between common and cannel coal.

These varieties are not found to occupy separate and peculiar seams of the coal formation, but alternate irregularly with one another, as layers of the same bed.

At Wylam they are met with in the following order.

Feet In Feet In.
At 6 fathoms High main Fine split 4 11 5 7
Stone based
Clean coal 2
Coarse Coal
26 Five quarter Splint 2 3
Clean coal 11
32 Six quarter Clean coal 2 9 3 4
Coarse coal
38 Yard coal Slaty band 1 2
Free coal 7
Coarse coal
Horsley Wood seam Clean coal 11½
Splint 9

Splint coal is also found at Throckley, Kenton, and some of the Lambton collieries situated on the Wear. Coarse coal occurs at Cockfield and many other places. These two varieties, containing little bitumen and less sulphur, are used in iron foundries, potteries, &c.; and splint serves as a material for building cottages and outhouses in the neighbourhood of Throckley Fell.

Potter's clay is found immediately below the vegetable soil. Its colour is blueish or smoke grey, and sometimes yellow approaching to orange, in consequence of a mixture of iron ochre. It is used in the manufacture of coarse earthenware, bricks, and tiles.

Shale or slate-clay is found throughout the Coal field, possessing various shades of colour and degrees of induration. Hard black and dark grey shale is called Black metal by the miners; it is used by the manufacturers of potters' saggers and fire-bricks, but for the latter purpose Thil-whin, or hard bituminous shale forming the floor of the coal seams, is preferred.[8] Shale of a blueish grey colour is called Blue metal. A blue bituminous shale, lying immediately below the coal, is called Blue-thilL

Hard blue metal is one of the most common measures in the coal-field; it is a mixture of shale and sandstone, sometimes containing scales of mica; is much harder than Blue metal, and from its waved structure breaks into sharp wedge-shaped fragments. Its colour varies from ash-grey to iron-grey.

Clay-stone (of Jameson) is not very common; it varies in colour from black to ash-grey, and is the Black-stone or Blue-stone of the miners, (vide St. Anthony's section,) it is fine-grained in texture, and breaks into angular fragments.

The following are the principal varieties of sandstone that occur.

White flagstone plate: a greyish-white argillaceous sandstone, hard and breaking into sharp wedge-shaped fragments. It is quarried for flag-stone at Heworth and on Gateshead Fell, where it is about two fathoms thick.

Grindstone sill or post: a light yellowish or buff-coloured fine grained sandstone, loosely aggregated, and therefore not very hard. It crops out on Byker Hill, Whickham Banks, and Gateshead Fell, where it is about 11 fathoms thick. It is quarried for the well known Newcastle grindstones, and from its softer parts filtering stones are made. In many places the upper part of this bed is abundantly impregnated with yellow ochre, which is sold under the name of die-sand.

Fire-stone resembles the grindstone in colour and fracture, but is soft when first worked. The best is quarried at Burradon near Killingworth: glass-house furnaces are constructed with it.

White post is a fine-grained sandstone, tolerably hard.

White post with whin consists of alternate laminæ of soft and hard sandstone.

Grey post is a fine grained sandstone, containing a large admixture of clay and sometimes of mica.

Brown post is a slaty micaceous sandstone.

Brown post with Coal pipes is a laminated sandstone traversed by strings of black shale and coal.

Brown post with skamy partings is a light brown sandstone with dark brown lamina.

Grey whin or Brown whin is a very hard dirty-brown quartzose sandstone, sometimes specked with minute white dots, and at other times containing very small scales of mica: it strongly resembles granular quartz. A bed of this rock may be seen contiguous to the basaltic dyke in Walbottle Dean.

What is called by the miners Band in coal is commonly composed of bituminous shale, clay and iron pyrites; sometimes of sandstone. Girdle means a thin plate: thus Post girdles are layers of sandstone; Whin girdles in post are layers of hard quartzose sandstone in softer sandstone; and Whin girdles in shale are thin beds of argillaceous iron ore in shale.

The minerals that accompany the coal measures are,

Clay ironstone, forming either thin beds or nodules (catheads) in the shale.

Galena is found together with pyrites in the nodules of clay-ironstone, that are imbedded in the shale: as at Montagu main, at the depth of 40 fathoms.

Iron pyrites is found in great abundance crystallized and disseminated in the beds both of coal and of shale: it is sold to the manufacturers of green vitriol.

Azure iron ore is not uncommon in the potters' clay at Elswick, and in other brick fields.

Calcareous spar is common, either blended with the coal or in the form of stalagmites.

The Organic remains found in the coal measures are,

Impressions of plants resembling those of the genera fontinalis and equisetum, except that the latter are destitute of the jointed stem of the true equiseta. In shale.

A fern, like polypodium filix mas, (Parkinson, vol. i. tab. 4. fig. 7.) Impressions of plants, (vide Parkinson, vol. i. tab. 3. fig. 6, 7.) In shale.

A fern, like blechnum boreale, (Parkinson, tab. 4. fig. 1, 2. and Sowerby, tab. 296.) and another like osmunda regalis; from Kenton colliery, and from the shale contiguous to the Coley hill dyke. In nodules of clay iron-stone.

Impressions of cones, (Parkinson, vol. i. tab. 9. fig, 1.) from Urpeth Dean, Durham. In nodules of clay ironstone.

Obscure impressions of a fern, from Murton colliery. In nodules of clay ironstone.

Large flattened lumps of iron pyrites, bearing the form of the stem and the impression of the bark of a plant resembling an euphorbia; called by the miners petrified salmon. From the floor of several collieries.

Impressions of the bark of a plant resembling a cactus or euphoria, (Sowerby, tab. 49.) from Murton Main colliery and (Parkinson, vol. i. tab. 1. fig. 6.) from Benwell colliery. In coal.

Vegetable impressions (vide Parkinson, vol. i. tab. 3. fig. 1.) from Gateshead Fell. In sandstone.

Cast of a cane-like vegetable, (Parkinson, vol. i. tab. 3. fig. 3.) from near Coley hill dyke; and (Parkinson, vol. i. tab. 5. fig. 8.) from Muston colliery.

An aggregate of black quartz crystals diverging from centres; having the interstices filled with yellow ochre. It is a mineralized tree, and if found at Bigge's main colliery, and often in large masses on the sea beach.

Bivalve shells[9] resembling those of the freshwater muscle, in dark-grey ironstone, from Wylam and Muston collieries.

Bivalve shells resembling the preceding but much less in size, in a stratum of black shale and ironstone; from the rocks in the Tyne at Low Lights, and from Heaton Dean, near Busy cottage.

Bivalve shells like the last, about half the size of freshwater muscle shells, in black shale, from Hebburn colliery, at the depth of 130 fathoms. These shells are generally less common in the shale than in the ironstone that accompanies it.

I have only to remark on the preceding catalogue that it contains no marine genera; and I do not believe that any marine shells, zoophytes, or corallines have ever been detected in the coal measures of this district.

The dykes of basalt or greenstone, that intersect the coal measures, are among the most remarkable occurrences in the Coalfield.

The most considerable basaltic dyke in the immediate neighbourhood of Newcastle is that which passes through Coley hill, about 4 miles west of the town. A long range of quarries has here been opened upon it, in some places to the depth of 50 feet, and laying bare the entire width of the dyke, which is 24 feet. The dyke in this place appears to have no hade. The basalt of which it is composed is found in detached masses coated with yellow ochre. The removal of these brings to view thin layers of indurated clay with which the fissure is lined, and which breaking into small quadrangular prisms is used by the country people for whetstones: in this substance clay ironstone impressed with the figures of ferns is very abundant. The upper seam of coal is here found at about 35 feet from the surface, and where in contact with the dyke is completely charred, forming an ash-grey porous mass, which breaks into small columnar concretions, exactly resembling the coak obtained by baking coal in close iron cylinders in the process of distilling coal-tar. Calcareous spar and sulphur are disseminated through the pores of this substance.

The basalt itself when broken is of a greenish-black colour, and of a coarse grained fracture. It contains quartz, calcareous spar, and another mineral, possessing the following characters. The colour is wax-yellow passing into olive-green; the lustre vitreous, resembling that of glassy felspar; the fracture foliated. It resists the action of the blow-pipe without borax, but with it melts into a white glass. The latter circumstance, and the foliated fracture distinguish this substance from olivine, which gives a dark green bead with borax, and presents a fracture more or less conchoidal.

Passing to the east-south-east of the Coley hill dyke in the line of its direction a vein is found traversing Walker colliery, and crossing the Tyne at Walker near Mr. Reay's house. In the latter colliery it has been observed and described by Mr. George Hill, to whose accuracy I owe the plan given in Plate 3, and the following particulars.

Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 4 figure page 0506-0507.png

The dyke is well defined, and the Plate represents its horizontal section taken at the level of the high main coal 100 fathoms from the surface. It occasions no alteration in the level of the coal measures, and the depth to which it intersects them is unknown. The dyke has been cut through by horizontal drifts in four places, from which the following sections have been taken.

Sections at A. A. the two western drifts.
I. Coak 6
2. Hard greenish whinstone, firm and unbroken 3
A fissure filled with nodules of whinstone and post imbedded in a cement of blue slate
Loose fragments of whinstone and post imbedded in blue slate but commonly less deranged
3 2 3
5. Hard greenish whinstone similar to No. 2. 6
6. Coak 3 1 6
Yards 22 1 6
Sections at B. B. the two eastern drifts.
1. Coak very hard 1
A confused mixture of nodules of sandstone, whinstone, pyrites and calcareous spar (the sandstone predominating) cemented together by pieces of blue and black slate. Water was found, and there was a plentiful discharge of inflammable gas, while the drift was being made
Compact post, with pieces of black argillaceous slate occurring at intervals
3 1 6
4. Hard greenish whinstone 8 1 6
5. Coak like that of No.1 1
Yards 20

Further to the south-east and in the line of the direction of the Walker dyke, a small quarry of basalt was formerly worked about 1 mile north of Boldon hills. The rock was fine grained, nearly black, and filled with small globules of milk white chalcedony, not bigger than a mustard seed.

With regard to the basaltic rocks of Coley hill, Walker, and Boldon, it is by no means well ascertained that they are portions of the same dyke, connected together below the surface; since no trace of that of Coley hill could be discovered in the very extensive and ancient collieries of Montagu and Kenton, situated in its course at a short distance to the east of it; nor was the Walker dyke found in any other colliery.

At Walbottle Dean, 5 miles west of Newcastle, below the bridge on the western road, a double vein of basalt[10] crosses the ravine in a diagonal direction, passing nearly due east and west. It hades to the north at an angle of 78°, and cuts the coal-measures without altering their dip. On the eastern bank of the ravine it is laid bare from the level of the brook to the height of about 60 feet. The northern and southern basaltic portions of the vein, the one 5 the other 6 feet in thickness, are there 13 feet apart, and are separated from one another by a confused heap of fragments of sandstone and shale broken from the coal-measures. With these fragments are found balls of basaltic tufa parting into concentric layers, and of a light yellowish brown colour: the balls are most abundant on the sides of the rubble near to the basalt.

Where the dyke reaches the surface a quarry of the basalt was formerly worked, which has lately been cleared. A small seam of coal meets the basalt at no great depth from the quarry-head, but the place of contact is at present inaccessible. In the neighbouring colliery both portions of the vein hold their course through the seam there worked, and the coal is charred by their influence.

Some of the blocks from the quarry are quite black, and of an earthy fracture, and contain nodules of quartz and chalcedony, varying in magnitude from the size of a pin's head to that of a large pea. Other specimens of the rock are hard, coarse grained, and of an iron-grey colour; but in neither varieties have I found the mineral resembling adularia, so abundant in the basalt of Coley hill.

A basaltic dyke 6 feet wide may be seen among the rocks of the coal formation at the south-eastern corner of the promontory on which Tynemouth castle stands. Another, about 3 yards wide, appears in the cliffs near Seaton sluice; its direction is west-northwest, and it may again be seen in Hartley burn. A small whin dyke was formerly quarried near Bedlington; and another is found in Cowpen colliery, which has charred the coal in contact with it.

Passing to the south of Newcastle about 2 miles beyond Durham, a basaltic vein may be seen, when the water is low, at Butterby in, the bed of the Wear. This vein is remarkable for a salt spring that issues from its interstices, and for a string of galena (first noticed by Mr. Fenwick of Dipton) that fills a crevice beside it. Two miles further to the south near the junction of the Auckland and Darlington roads, is another dyke, the direction of which is nearly east and west, and on which two quarries are worked, each about 10 feet wide.

Of the Cockfield dyke a section and description have been given in the History of Durham, by the late Mr. Dixon, from which I work I derive the following particulars.

This dyke passes in a north-west and south-east direction from Cockfield to Botain, situated on the western boundary of the magnesian limestone. Its width is 17 feet at the former place, where it hades to the south, and throws up the coal-measures on that side 8 fathoms. The low main coal contiguous to the basalt is only 9 inches thick, but enlarges to 6 feet at the distance of 50 yards from it. The coal is reduced to a cinder, and the sulphur is sublimed from the pyrites near to the dyke.

I have never been able to trace any of these basaltic veins into the magnesian limestone, and am almost certain that together with the other members of the coal formation, they are covered by it.

Continuing the line of direction of the Cockfield dyke from Botain to the south-east, after passing the eastern boundary of the magnesian limestone, we meet with a dyke on the banks of the Tees a little below Yarm. It there cuts the red sandstone, and continuing its course in the same direction is well known to traverse the north-eastern part of Yorkshire.

Besides the fissures filled with basalt, others of a very different nature intersect the Coal-field. These if large are also called dykes, but, if inconsiderable, troubles, slips or bitches; and are the same that some geologists have called faults.

I have already noticed the main or ninety-fathom-dyke, when speaking of the limestone quarry at Whitley, where it is seen dividing the coal-measures in the cliff, and passing into the sea. It receives its name from the degree of throw which generally attends it in the strata through which it passes, and which are cast down on the northern side about 90 fathoms. At Whitley the same bed of coal which is found at 7 fathoms on the southern side of it, is found at 50 on the northern, the measures being there thrown up on the southern side 43 fathoms. From this point the dyke ranges, though not in a straight line, through that part of the country formerly called Killingworth moor, and passing near Gosforth church, Denton hall, and by the north corner of the field east of W. Denton's house, crosses the Tyne in the direction of Reyton church, and proceeds to the south-west by Greenside and Lead-gate. Farther it has not been traced; but it is highly probable that it traverses the lead mine district; and produces lateral and valuable metalliferous veins therein.

It will appear from the two subjoined sections of Montagu Colliery, taken from opposite sides of this fissure, that 11 seams of coal (two of which are worth working) together with their accompanying strata which are found on the northern side, have disappeared on the southern. The exact throw in the measures occasioned by the dyke cannot be ascertained from these sections, one of them being that of a pit near to Scott's wood close to the Tyne, the other belonging to a shaft sunk in much higher ground 1 mile north of the former.

[11]The hade of the dyke in this colliery is imperceptible: the space between the cheeks measures about 22 yards, and is filled with soft and hard sandstone. A perpendicular fissure, the sides of which are quite smooth, divides the stony contents of the dyke into two equal parts, and when perforated was found to be filled with soft clay and water. On the south side the coal-measures preserve their usual dip of 5° until close to the dyke: on the northern from the distance of 150 yards they rise to the dyke at an angle of 20°, but at the distance of 600 yards they regain their accustomed position. In some parts the coal is deteriorated in quality to the distance of 20 yards from the dyke; but in others to that of 3 or 4 yards only.

From the southern side of the main dyke two others branch off, one to the south-east, the other to the south-west. The latter is called from its breadth the 70 yard dyke, and is filled with a body of hard and soft sandstone. This intersects the upper or Beaumont seam, which is not thrown out of its level by the interruption. The seam however decreases in thickness from the distance of 15 or 16 yards, and the coal first becomes sooty, and at length assumes the appearance of coak. This phenomenon is unknown elsewhere except in the vicinity of basaltic dykes.

The south eastern branch is only 20 yards in breadth, and hard white sandstone together with other rocky fragments fill the cavity, and are in part cemented together by calcareous spar. Although the strata are thrown up only 20 feet on the north-eastern side of the vein, yet great confusion has taken place in its vicinity, and much water was found to issue from it.

From the northern side of this part of the main dyke many small slips extend, some of which alter the level of the Newbiggin coal-seam without affecting that of the Kenton seam lying only 13 fathoms above it.

[12]The Birtley, Tantoby or Tanfield dyke is next in magnitude and length after the main dyke. From Tatlield on the Wear it ranges towards the west, passing through Leefield, Ouston, Birtley Fell, and Urpeth collieries: thence in the direction of Beamish hall it traverses Tanfield Moor, and crosses the Derwent near Derwent-coat Forge. In Tanfield Moor colliery it is in all an upcast on the northern side of 40 fathoms; but instead of consisting of one strong vein, it appears to be divided into a number of small branches, some of which are upcasts and some down casts, which break and rend the coal-measures to the width of 200 yards. In the Wear water mines it is an upcast on the northern side of 30 fathoms.

The Thistle pit dyke which is a downcast of eight fathoms to the south, and traverses the Coal-field from west to east, appears to have been as well known to the miners who lived nearly a century since, as to those of the present day. It was the southern limit of the ancient colliery situated at Heaton and Benton banks, and by perforating it the mine at Heaton was inundated on the 3d of May, 1815, when the viewer and seventy-four men and boys lost their lives. — For an account of this catastrophe, see Monthly Magazine and Philosophical Journal.

The Heworth dyke is an upcast on the southern side of 25 fathoms, and from the vicinity of Falling hall it stretches towards the west, and enters the main dyke at Ryton. The high-main coal to the south of this dyke is said to lose a strong parting known by the name of Heworth band.

At Hebburn, Oxclose, Ravensworth, Lambton, Newbottle, Lumley, Raynton, and every other colliery worked in the district, similar dykes occur; and, following the same law as the veins of the Lead-mine district, they elevate the strata on that side towards which they dip.

Whatever be the throw or difference of level occasioned in the coal-measures by these dykes, it never happens, as might be expected, that a precipitous face of rock is left on the elevated side; or that the lower side is covered by an alluvial deposit, which connects the inequality of the beds that are in situ; but the surface of the ground covering the vein is rendered level by the absolute removal of the rocky strata on the elevated side. The same phenomena have been observed in other parts of the kingdom; and render evident the operation of a most powerful agent employed in tearing up the surface, and in dispersing the fragments of the ruin.

In the coal measures near the edges of those dykes rounded pebbles of sandstone and fragments of coal cemented together by sand are sometimes met with; as in Lawson main, Sheriff hill, and Montagu Main collieries.

Galena has been found in a dyke in Willington colliery, and a small string of the same ore has been observed in the main dyke at Whitley. A salt spring issues from a slip in Birtley colliery.

The dykes are an endless source of difficulty and expense to the coal owner, throwing the seams out of their levels, and filling the mines with water and fire damp. At the same time they are not without their use; when veins are filled, as is often the case, with stiff clay, numerous springs are damned up and brought to the surface; and by means of downcast dykes valuable beds of coal are preserved, which would otherwise have cropped out and been lost altogether. Thus the high-main, the live-quarter, and the seven quarter coal seams would not now have existed in the country to the north of the main dyke but for the general depression of the beds occasioned by that chasm.

The other irregularities observed in the coal measures are the following:

1. Large wedge-shaped portions of the strata that are occasionally found to have sunk from their level. This occurrence was noticed in Cockfield colliery by Mr. Dixon, and a section of it is given in the history of Durham. A much more serious difficulty of the same kind was surmounted within these few years in Hebburn colliery by Mr. Buddle.

2. Fissures that divide the strata, but do not alter their level, and which sometimes do not descend lower than the upper seams of coal. These are called gashes by Williams, and washes by our miners: they are filled with water, clay, sand, and rounded sandstone pebbles similar to those in the beds of rivulets.

3. Basin-formed depressions in the floors of the mines, called swellies by the miners; by which the coal is considerably thickened, the roof of the seam preserving its regularity. These occur when the coal is nearly horizontal.

4. Nips, where the coal nearly disappears, the floor and the roof coming into contact. Near Fawlon Slate in the neighbourhood of Fenham, 80 acres of coal are said to be lost in this manner.

At Hetton and at Hebburn, and in other parts of the Coal-field, the coal-measures are covered by large tracts of quicksand, which appear to have been the beds of ancient lakes. Mr. Fenwick has lately penetrated through a most formidable obstruction of this kind at Hetton by means of a number of cast—iron cylinders.

Having now given a general account of the coal beds, and of the derangements to which they are subject, I proceed to the Colliery Sections, with which I commence on the northern side of the main dyke near the sea, and thence pass towards the west: then crossing to the southern side of the main dyke at Montagu colliery and returning to the east, I exhibit the strata pierced at some of the principal collieries on the Tyne, and the lower beds found at Gateshead Fell and on the Wear. Some other examples follow, which are taken from the western and south-western borders of the Coal-field.

Section of the Strata at Hartley Colliery.

Fs. Y. F. In. Fs. Y. F. In.
Clay, Sand, &c. to the the Coal 5 Brought forward 57 1 7
Post 16 1 Grey Thil 3
White post 2 1 2 2 White and Grey post 1 3
Benton Seam 1 2 2 Blue Metal 1 6
Clay 3 Black ditto mixed with Coal 1 9
Ground Coal 1 4 Grey post 2 1 4
Thil of ditto 1 Grey Metal Stone 1
Blue Metal 1 1 2 Grey Metal 2 1 4
Black ditto 1 2 1 Black ditto 1 4
Blue ditto 3 1 3 Coal with Metal bands 2 4
Black ditto 3 1 11 Thil and Grey Metal 2
Grey ditto with girdles 3 1 11 Grey Metal Stone 1 1 1 1
Blue ditto 1 11 Black Metal and Coal pipes 2 6
Metal Coal 1 10 Coal mixed with Metal
Thil 5 Grey Thil 6
Grey Metal with post girdles 1 1 1 1 Grey Metal Stone 2
White post 1 1 Blue ditto 1 1
Whin 1 7 Grey Metal Stone 1 1 1 6
White post 1 3 Gey Semy post 1
Blue Metal 2 6 Grey Metal Stone 1
White post 2 1 6 Ditto with girdles 1 10
Grey Metal with girdles 1 1 1 1 Black Metal 1
White post 1 1 6 Coal 2 3
Grey Metal 2 4 Grey Metal 1 1
Blue ditto 2 1 1 9 Coal with Metal band 1 10
Mixed Coal and Stone 2 6 Grey Thil 4
Black Stone 1 6 White and Grey post 1 1
White post 2 2 Grey Metal Stone 1 8
Grey Metal 1 2 Blue ditto 3
Post girdles 3 Black ditto 1 11
Grey Metal 4 Coal 1
Post girdles 10 Grey thil 4
Grey Metal 2 4 Blue Metal 1 8
Blue ditto 4 Grey Seamy post 1 1
White post 4 1 5 Blue Metal 1 1 9
Blue Stone 1 2 9 Black Metal 1 4
Yard Coal 1 7 Main Coal 1 1 5
────────── ──────────
Carried forward 57 1 7 83 0 2 3
────────── ──────────

Strata passed through by Killingworth Sinking Pit.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Clay 8 Brought forward 65 1
Coal 1 3 Black Stone 4
Grey Metal 4 Coal 8
Grey Post Girdles 8 Grey Thil and Whin Girdles 1
Grey Metal Stone 4 Strong blue stone 1
Strong Post mixed with Whin 3 Black stone 3
Post 2 1 Coal 3
Black Stone 1 6 Grey Thil 4
Coal [13][14] 9 White post with Whin Girdles 2 3
Black Stone[13][14] 8 Grey metal and Girdles 2
Coal[13][14] 1 8 Black Stone mixed with Coal 5
Grey Metal 1 Soft grey metal 3
Strong blue Stone 2 1 Grey Metal 1 3
Coal 2 4 Coal 1 6
Grey metal 2 5 Grey blue Metal 1
Coal 6 White post 1 2
Blue Stone 1 5 Blue Metal 1
Whin Girdles 2 6 Coal 1 10
Blue Stone and Whin Girdles 5 Grey Metal with Post Girdles 2 2
Coal 4 Coal 1
Gray Thil 1 1 8 Grey Metal Stone 2
Grey post 2 4 Grey post 1
Blue Stone 2 3 Grey and Blue Metal 4
Coal 4 White post 3
Grey and blue Metal with Girdles 1 4 Grey and blue Metal with Whin Girdles 1 1 6
Blue Stone 4 8 Black Stone 1
Coal 1 10 Coal (A) 2 6
Grey Thil 1 6 White post 1
Strong grey post 1 2 Grey metal with Post Girdles 5
Grey Metal stone 4 6 Whine and white post 1 2 6
Slaty Coal, mixed with Black stone 2 6 Blue Metal with post Girdles 2 4 6
Grey Thil 6 Black Metal 3
slaty Coal 2 Blue Metal and Girdles 24
Grey post with water 2 1 6 Black Stone 9
Grey Metal with strong Girdles 1 3 Coal 9
Strong white post 1 6 Grey Thil and Whin lumps 4
Grey Blue Metal with Girdles 1 3 Blue Metal 4
Coal 6 White post 3 2
Blue Metal 1 2 Black Metal 6
Coal 4 Coal 7
Grey post with Metal Girdles and lumps 3 1 9 Grey Metal 10
Coal 2 Grey post 2 4 6
Grey Thil 4 Blue Metal 4
Coal 4 Black Metal 1 2
Grey and blue Metal with post Girdles 2 Grey and white post with metal partings 1
Soft blue Metal with lumps 6 5 Grey and Blue Metal 5
White post 7 Black Metal 1 4 6
Blue Grey Metal 4 Coal 1
Grey post 4 2 4 Grey Metal 5 7
White post with Metal partings 8 4 6
Tor Coal rather coarse 4
Clean Coal (B) 1 1
Bottom Coal to be curved out 3
──────── ────────
Carried forward 65 1 Total 115 7
──────── ────────

Boring made at Coxlodge, November 26th, 1761.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Soil 1 Brought forward 23 4 6
Strong stony Clay 4 4 Grey Metal 2
Black Metal 2 Blue Metal scared with Coal 3
Brown post 2 Coal, but brassy at top 11
Coal (but will not cake or burn) 1 1 Coal mixed with black metal 5
Grey Metal 2 Grey Metal 1
White and grey post with water 1 White and grey post 2 2 3
Grey Metal 3 6 Blue grey Metal 2 3
Grey post with water 1 6 Hard slaty Coal 5
Strong white post mixed with Whin 1 3 Hard Coal (A) 1 1
Grey Metal stone with post girdles 2 6 Grey Metal 1 6
Coal 4 Grey skamy post with Metal partings 1 1
Brassy lump 1 Whin, mixed with strong white post at bottom 2
Coal 9 Grey Metal stone with post girdles 2
Soft blue and black Metal 6 Blue and black Metal 1 6
Grey Metal or post 4 6 Grey Metal mixed with post girdles 6 1 6
Thready Whin which sets away the water[15] 1 Black Metal 1
Grey post 1 6 Grey Metal 2
Black skammy stone 6 Grey and white post 2 4 6
Grey Metal stone 4 4 Grey Metal 5 6
Soft black and blue Metal 4 9 Coal 7
Foul Coal 5 Grey Metal scared with Coal 4
Soft black grey Metal 10 Grey Metal stone 2 1
Coal 1 6 Soft black And blue Metal 2 5 6
soft black danty[16] Metal scared with coal 3 Coal 8
Grey Metal 1 3 6 Foul slaty Coal 1 2
Ditto and blue 2 6 Grey Metal with girdles 1 2
Hard Coal 1 4 Strong white post 7
Black slaty stone 3 Coal (B) 4 8
Coal, but slaty in the middle 1 2 Black Metal scared with Coal 2
Left off in Witish grey post 2 4
──────── ────────
Carried forward 23 4 6 Total Depth 58 3 3
──────── ────────

N.B. This Section, as also the preceding at Killingworth, is on the north or dip side of the Main dyke.

Scams of Coal at Walbottle Colliery at the Newburn winning.
Ft. In.
English Seam at 50 fathoms 3 8 thick
Main Coal 69 2 8
Splint Coal 85 4 0

The last Seam consists of 3 feet 4 inches of Clean Coal, and about 8 inches of Splint next the Thil.

Seams of Coal at Throckley Colliery.
Ft. In.
English Seam at 54 fathoms 3 8 thick
Main Coal 70 3 0
Splint Coal 86 3 3
Seams of Coal at Wylam Colliery.
High Main at 6 fathoms 7 7 thick
Five Quarter Coal 11 3 4
Six Quarter Coal 26 3 4
Yard Coal 32 1 2
Horsley Wood Seam 38 11
Seams of Coal at Holywell Main, or Reins by Brunton.
Grey Seam, or Newbiggin Stone Coal at 9 fathoms 4 6 thick
Five Quarter Coal 17 3 9
Six Quarter Coal 35 3 9

Section of the Strata at Montagu Main Colliery, on the North side of the Ninety Fathom Dyke.

Fs. Y. F. In. Fs. Y. F. In.
Soil and Clay 1 1 6 Brought over 27
Grey Metal stone 3 1 Grey Metal stone with girdles 1 1
Strong grey post 1 1 White post 3 6
Grey Metal stone with girdles 4 1 6 Metal stone 1 1 1
Whim 9 Blue Grey metal 2 6
1 [17]Coal (waste of the 7 quarter Coal, or Kenton Main, worked out in 1690) 9
Stone Coal 2 Five Quarter
or New-
─  ─ 
Black Metal stone 2
Coal 2 1
Grey Metal stone 1 1
Strong White post 1 1 1
Blue Grey metal 1
Grey Metal stone 2 2
Grey post 1 1
────────── ──────────
Carried forward 27 Carried forward 37 1 5

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Brought forward 37 1 5 Brought forward 94 1 2
Strong grey Metal stone 1 1 Grey Metal stone with girdles 1 1 2
Strong white post 2 Grey Metal with skames of Coal 1 3
Grey Metal stone 2 1 Grey Metal stone 3 1
3 Coal 6 Grey Metal with a mixture of Coal 2
Grey stone with Post girdles 3 1 3 Grey Metal stone 1 1 6
Mixture whin 1 3 Grey Metal with whin 1 6
Grey post 1 Grey Metal stone 2 2
Grey Metal stone 1 2 10 13 Coal 10
4 Coal 6 Grey Metal 6
Grey Metal stone 2 White post 1 6
5 Coal 8 Grey Metal 2 6
Grey Metal Stone 1 Whin 4
Strong white post 1 4 Strong white post with partings 1
6 Coal 8 Whin 1
Grey Metal stone 1 Strong white post 2
Grey post 1 6 Grey Metal stone with girdles and partings 1 1 6
Strong white post 1 14 Coal 8
Dark grey metal 1 11 Grey Metal stone 4
7 Coal 4 Strong grey and white post 1 6
Grey Metal stone 2 1 1 4 Grey Metal stone with hard girdles 1 2 6
8 Coal 4 Strong white post 1 2
Grey Metal stone 1 3 Whin 1 1 2
Black slaty Metal mixed with Coal 1 Strong white post mixed with whin 1 2 6
Strong grey Metal stone 5 2 11 Blue Metal 1
Strong white post with whin 12 1 Mixed Whin girdles or lumps 4
Grey Metal stone with black skamy partings 2 1 2 Blue Metal 10
Strong white post 1 1 15 Coal, Beaumontseam ? 1 10
9 Coal 2 Grey Metal stone 1
Grey Metal stone 2 Strong post with whin 2 1 1
Grey Metal stone with girdles 2 Whin 8
Strong white post with Whin girdles and skamy partings 5 1 7 16 Coal 6
Coal 10 Coal
Main ? [18]
Black slaty metal
Coal (foul)
2 5 Black slate with Coal 1 2
3 Grey Metal 1
1 Strong white post 2 1 1
Grey Metal 1 1 Grey skammy post 2
Strong white post 5 9 Strong white post with whin 2 1 10
Black Greystone 2 17 Coal 10
11 Coal 9 Grey Metal stone 1 1
Blue grey metal 5
12 Coal 4
Blue grey metal 1 6
Strong white post 1 1 7
────────── ──────────
Carried forward 94 1 2 Fathoms 118 1 1 0

Section of the Strata at Montagu Main Colliery, South of the Dyke.

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Soil 1 Brought forward 76 1
Clay 2 2 White post 1 8
White post 2 6 Blue metal post with post girdles 1 3
1 Coal 4 Strong post with whin girdles 2 1 9
Black stone 1 2 Black stone 1 5
Grey post 1 1 2 Grey post 1 2
Blue metal stone 2 1 1 Blue metal stone 1
Grey post 1 2 Strong white post 1 3
Strong white post with black metal partings 5 Blue metal stone 1 2 1
Grey post 1 4 10 Coal 8
Brown post with Coal pipes 1 1 8 Black thil 1 4
White post 2 1 Blue metal with post girdles 1 1
Strong white post with whin 1 Grey post 1
2 Coal 9 Strong white post 3 1 2 7
Black stone 4 1 11 Coal, Low Main 2 11
Grey metal stone 4 2 Grey metal stone 4 1
Brown post with metal partings 1 1 White post 2 1
3 Coal 9 Grey metal stone with post girdles 1
Grey metal stone 1 1 2 10 White post with whin girdles 3 1 6
4 Coal Benwell
Black metal band
1 Grey metal with post girdles 1 1
9 12 Coal, Low Low Main 2 10
1 6 Grey metal stone 1 2
Grey Metal 1 1 White post 2
Strong white post 2 1 1 Grey metal 1 8
Whin 2 Back stone 10
White post 1 2 Grey metal stone 1 2 6
5 Coal 1 Grey post 1 6
Black Metal stone 1 1 2 Strong white post with whin girdles 3 1 1 8
White post 3 Grey metal stone 3 2 6
Black metal stone 4 1 Grey post 2
Grey metal 5 2 4 White post 1 2
Grey post with whin girdles 2 1 Grey metal stone 1
Strong white post 6 2 13 Coal 6
Grey metal stone 3 2 Grey metal 1
6 Coal 8 Grey metal stone with post girdles 3 2 2
Post girdle 2 14 Coal 5
Grey metal stone 1 1 Grey metal stone 4
7 Coal, Beaumon seam 1 4 Grey post 1 3
Strong white thil 1 7 Strong white post with whin 2 1 4
Strong white post 2 4 Grey metal stone 1
8 Coal 1 6 15 Coal
Black Thil 2 4 Grey metal stone with post girdles 1
Grey metal stone 1 2 Strong white post with whin girdles 1 5
Grey post 2
Grey metal stone 2 10
Strong white post 1 4
9 Coal 1 3
Black stone 1 2 4
────────── ──────────
Carried forward 76 1 Fathoms 118 1 1 0

The four workable Seams of the preceding Section are, Benwell main, Beaumont seam, Low main, Lox Low main.
Seams of Coal at West Denton or Baker's main.
Ft. In.
Beaumont Seam at 30 fathoms 3 3
Low Main 49 2 10
Low Low main 50 2 11
Strata sunk through in the F Pit Wall's-end Colliery.
Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Strong clay with tumblers 8 4 Brought forward 64 3 4
Brown post 2 1 Thil 2
Soft Metal stone 4 Grey Metal stone 1 1
White post 1 Grey post 5
Metal stone 5 Black stone 3 8
Grey post 2 1 Coal 4
Metal stone 1 1 4 Thil 2 6
Whin 8 Grey Metal stone 2 6
White post 9 1 6 Grey post 1 6
Ditto and grey post 5 White post 4 6
Black stone 4 Black stone 1 8
Coal 8 Coal 11
Thil 2 Thil 2
Grey post 4 6 Grey Metal stone 4 1
White post 1 6 Coal (A) 3
Whin 1 3 Grey Metal stone 2 9
Grey post 1 1 Grey post [19] 2 9
Blue metal stone 3 6 White post 4 4 3
Grey post 2 6 Blue stone 6
Blue metal stone 2 8 Grey post 3
Grey post 1 Black stone 1
Whin 2 4 Grey post 5 6
White post 2 3 2 Blue Metal stone 1 8
Black stone 2 Black stone 1 4
Coal 2 Grey post 1 3
Grey Thil 2 1 4 Black stone[20] 3 4
Grey post 5 Coal 3
Whin 2 Grey Thil 1 8
White post 6 White post [21] 2
Whin 2 3 Whin (very irregular) 4
White post 6 5 9 White post 3
Coal 8 Whin (very irregular) 4 6
Grey Thil 1 8 White post 3
Grey post 5 Grey post with scares 3
Blue Metal stone 1 2 Grey Metal stone 5 7
Coal 1 2 Main Coal Seam (B)[22] 1 1
Thil 3 Outset of the Pit 3
Coal 10
───────── ─────────
Carried forward 63 3 4 Total 103 2 11

Strata sunk through in Percy Main Engine Pit. 1800.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Blue Stony clay 13 6 Brought forward 67 4 4
Sand 2 1 Whin 1 6
Blue Stony clay 11 2 1 Grey metal with Whin girdles 1 8
Dry ditto 5 6 Post girdles 1 2 6
Leafy ditto 2 6 Grey Metal stone 3 9
Sand with a small feeder of water 1 8 Black metal mixed with Coal 1 3
Sand and clay 2 3 Grey metal 1 4
Strong clay 2 4 Skamy white post 1 2 6
Gravel 1 Grey metal with girdles 5
Sand with water 1 11 Black stone 8
Leafy clay 1 3 4 Grey metal with girdles 2 3 10
Sand with much water 4 1 Coal 1
Gravel 3 10 Thil 1 1
Brown skamy post[23] 1 2 2 Greyish post 1 2 9
Very soft grey metal 2 White metal 4
Blue metal 5 White post 7 4
Lightish grey post 1 2 Black stone 1 9
Very hard black stone 3 6 Grey metal with girdles 10
Soft dark grey metal 1 Coal (A) 2
White Metal parting 1 1 Grey metal 2
Grey Metal girdles 5 Coal 1 2
Redish post with partings 4 3 Grey metal with girdles 1 2 6
Lightish grey post 5 Grey Metal stone 1 4
Redish post with partings 1 White post 10 4 6
Whitish post 3 Black stone 1 6
Soft red metal with partings 3 Skamy post 1
Very course bluish post 4 1 6 Whin 1 4
Brownish Metal mixed with post 1 2 Skamy post 3 8
Blue Metal mixed with post girdles 1 1 Blue stone with girdles 1 5
Grey ditto ditto 3 Dark blue metal 1 2
Grey Metal stone 2 2 10 Black stone 1 3 6
Coal Dark grey metal
Grey metal
6 Coal 6
2 Grey Metal stone 3
1 Grey skamy post 4
Whin girdles 6 Main post 9 3
Dark grey metal with girdles 1 5
Coal Main Coal (B)
Dark blue metal 1 1 2
Grey metal 5 2 10
───────── ─────────
Carried forward 67 4 4 Total Depth 119 1

Section of the Strata at Howden Pit. Percy Main Colllery.
(Bored from the High Main Coal No. 9.)

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Outset 4 8 Brought forward 80 5 6
Surface 1 Blue metal with Whin girdles 1
Brown clay 1 Grey metal stone with whin girdles 1 2
Leafy clay 1 5 Whin stone 1 6
Bluish gravelly soil 4 6 Grey Metal with post girdles 4 6
Brown leafy clay 1 2 Grey metal 2 4
Sand, gravel and water 3 5 Coal 1 2
Blue gravelly clay 6 Thil 3
Sand and gravel clay with water 2 Grey metal with Whin girdles 4
Sand, gravel and water 3 4 6 Grey metal stone 1 3
─────── Post and Whin girdles 1 1
Alluvial 22 1 8 Grey metal stone 1 4
1 Coal 2 Blue stone 2
Grey metal 2 6 Coal 1 2
2 Coal 11 Grey metal stone 1 4
Thil 4 White post 8 3
Grey metal with post girdles and water. Alternate beds of slate and sandstone 3 2 9 Grey metal stone 2
Black stone (Clay stone) 4 7 Coal 10
Blue stone with water 3 6 Grey metal 1 2
Grey Thil 5 6 Blue stone 4
Grey Metal stone with water 4 5 6 Grey metal stone 1 4
Skamy grey post with water 5 2 White post 9 1
White post with water 10 4 Grey Metal stone with post clyers 3
Grey metal 4 White post with water 2
White post 1 1 Black stone 3
Grey metal 1 3 Blue stone 2
Black stone 1 Grey post 3
Grey Thil 5 Blue stone 3
Grey metal with whin girdles 3 1 Grey metal stone 4
Blue metal 2 Black stone 2 6
Red metal 5 Post with grey Metal girdles 1 2
White post with water 7 5 Dark blue Metal stone 2 3
Red metal stone 5 8 Coal 4
Grey metal stone with Whin girdles 1 Grey Thil 2
Grey Thil 4 6 Grey post 2
Black stone 1 6 Main post 10 4
Grey metal with Whin girdles 1 2 6 9 Coal, high main 1 6
Blue stone 4 Thil, foul coal, grey metal and Coal 5 9
3 Coal 6 Blue stone with girdles 3 1 6
Grey metal 1 6 Grey metal 2
4 Coal 1 Grey post 1 2
Grey Thil 1 Grey metal with girdles 1 2 9
Grey metal with post girdles 5 3 6 10 Coal 2
Blue stone 1
Grey Metal stone with Whin girdles 1
─────── ───────
Carried forward 80 5 6 Fathoms 145 6

Strata sunk through in the A Pit, Bigge's Main Colliery, (Bored from High Main.)

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Clay 17 Brought forward 104 3
Brown post with water 7 6 Strong post mixed with Whin 5 3
Coal 8 Coal [24] 9
Blue metal 1 5 Blue stone 4 3
Strong white post with water 1 3
Coal [25]
Black stone
1 2
Blue Metal stone 3 7
Coal 1 2 1 3
White post 4 Stong grey post 5 3
Grey post girdles with water 3 3 Blue stone with post girdles 4 2 9
Soft blue Metal stone 1 Coal 2 6
Strong white post mixed with whin 4 3 White post and girdles 2 1
Soft blue Metal stone 5 Ditto with whin and girdles 5 3 10
Coal 5 Blue stone 3
White post girdles 1 3 Ditto and grey girdles 1 3
Whin 3 4 Ditto and Whin girdles 1 3
Strong white post 2 1 Ditto mild 1 6
Coal 7
Coal [26]
Grey Thil
White Thil
Blue Thil
Blue stone
Soft blue Thil 5 5
Post mixed with whin and water 2 3 8 2
Coal 8 3
Blue stone 2 4 4 7
Post mixed with scares of Coal 8 8
White post mixed with Whin 1 4 1
Blue Metal stone 1 2 6
[27] Coal [28]
Strong white post with water
Grey post with girdles
Grey Metal stone
1 6 1 8
1 2 Strong grey post 5
1 4 6 Blue stone and Whin girdles 4
10 Coal 2
2 3 Strong white post mixed with whin 2 6
8 Whin 1 6
Strong white post mixed with whin[29] 5 1 Grey post and Whin girdles 2 3
Grey girdles [30]
Blue and black metal
3 3 Blue stone 2
2 4 Coal (Unknown seam) 3 1
5 Grey post with Whin girdles 1
Grey Metal stone[31] 1 3 Blue stone 5
Strong white post[32] 5 5
Coal [33]
Blue and grey metal
Strong post girdles mixed with Whin
Grey Metal stone
Grey Metal stone
2 6
Ditto with Coal pipes 1 3 1 6
Ditto with Whin 3 3
Ditto with Coal pipes 1 3 9
Grey Metal stone with hard girdles 1 2 3 7
Coal[34] (High Main) 1 8 2
Blue stone with Whin girdles 4 3 8
Strong grey post 1 4
Coal [35]
Blue stone
2 6 Grey post mild 4
3 3 Strong white post 4 2
6 Blue stone 3
─────── ───────
Carried forward 104 3 Carried forward 159 1 4

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Brought forward 159 1 4 Brought forward 178 2
White post 4 1 6 Whin 2
Coal (Suppose to be the Five quarter seam) 1 Blue stone 2 11
Thil 1 Black stone 10
Grey post girdles 3
Coal [36]
Blue metal
2 5
Blue stone 3 2 4
Grey metal stone with post girdles 2 4 4
Whin 2 8 Whin 1
Blue stone 6 Brown post 2 1
White post girdles 1 1 Grey Metal stone 1 5
Blue stone 4 6
Blue metal
White post girdles 1 2 6 1 2
Blue stone 4 8 1
Black stone 5 7 Grey metal 1 2
Grey Metal stone 4 White post 2
Mild grey post 1 5 7 Ditto girdles 2 1
Coal (Unknown Seam) 8 Strong white post mixed with whin 1 5 7
Grey Metal stone 4 Grey Metal stone 1 3 1
Mild White post 1 3 8
─────── ───────
Carried forward 178 2 Total Depth 193 10

N. B. All the Seams below the Yann Con. in this section, lie so irregularly, and are so disfigured, that it is difficult to recognize them.

Section of the Strata to the Low Main Coal, at St. Anthons Colliery.
Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Soil and clay 5 Brought forward 64
Brown post 12 Grey Metal stone 2
Coal 6 Strong white post 6
Blue Metal stone 2 5 Black Metal stone with hard girdles 3
White girdles 2 1 High Main Coal 1
Coal 8 Grey metal 4 3
White and grey post 6 Post girdles 2
Soft blue Metal stone 5 Blue metal 4
Coal 6 Girdles 1 2
White post girdles 3 Blue Metal stone 5
Whin 1 4 6 Post 1
Strong white post 3 1 Blue Metal stone 3
Coal 1 Whin and Blue metal 1 6
Soft blue Thil 1 5 Strong white post 3 3
Soft girdles mixed with Whin 3 5 Brown post with water 7
Coal 6 Blue Metal stone with grey girdles 2 2
Blue and Black stone 3 4 Coal 3
Coal 8 Blue Metal stone 3 3
Strong white post 1 3 White post 4
Grey Metal stone 1 4 Coal 6
Coal 8 Strong grey metal with post girdles 2 6
Grey post mixed with Whin 4 1 Strong white post 1 1
Grey girdles 3 1 Whin 1
Blue and Black stone 2 2 Blue Metal stone 1 2 7
Coal 1 Grey Metal stone with post girdles 2 4 5
Blue Metal stone with whin girdles 1 4 3
─────── ───────
Carried forward 64 2 Carried forward 109 3 9

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Brought over 109 3 9 Brought forward 194 6
Coal 1 6 Grey metal and Whin girdles 1 4 10
Blue grey metal 3 8 Grey metal and girdles 1 3
White post 2 7 White post 3
White post mixed with Whin 2 Coal 3 2
White post 1 2 Blue and grey metal 4
Dark blue Metal and Coal 2 2 Coal 9
Grey Metal stone and girdles 2 2 Blue and grey metal 2
White post mixed with Whin 3 7 White post mixed with Whin 4 6
Whin 1 Grey metal 1 6
White post mixed with Whin 1 6 Grey metal and girdles 1 9
Coal 3 3 Low Main Coal 1 6
Dark grey Metal stone 3 6
─────── ───────
Carried forward 124 6 Total 135 1 6

Strata bored through from the High Main Coal in the Charlotte Pit Walker Colliery.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Sunk from surface to High Main Coal 100 Brought forward 136 1 4
Box 5 Grey metal stone with girdles 2 3
Grey metal with girdles 4 5 Coal with water and sulphur 3
Coal C [37]
Grey metal
Coal with sulphar
6 Grey metal stone with post girdles 2 4 8
1 3
Coal [38]
Hard band
2 8 6
Grey metal with girdles 2 1 6
Black stone 1 3 6 Grey metal with post girdles 2
Coal D (Stone Coal) 10 White post with partings 5 5
Soft grey metal 10
Coal Six Quarter Coal G
Blue metal
Strong ditto with post girdles 6 5 5
Coal E (Yard Coal) 2 9 1 6
Grey metal with whin girdles 1 3
Blue metal with scares of Coal at top Five Quar-
ter Coal H
Coal mixed with black stone
Coal clean
Black metal stone with ditto and sulphur 2 3
Strong white post with whin and metal partings 5 10
Grey metal 1 3 8 Grey metal 2
Strong white post 1 1 Grey post 4
Whin 5 Strong grey post mixed with whin 5 1
Stong white post 1 5 Grey metal with girdles 1 2 6
Black slate 2 Strong whin 7
Coal (Little Coal) 8 Black slate 2
Grey metal stone 2 3
Tender Coal I [39]
Brassy coal with scares of band
Black slate mixed with Coal
5 2
White post 1 3 11
Grey metal stone with post girdles 1 4 2 3
Black stone 4 Blue grey metal 11
Coal F (Bnesham Seam) 3
─────── ───────
Carried forward 136 1 4 Fathoms 130 3 9

The stratification above the High main Coal, that is from the surface to the High main Coal in Walker Colliery, is very similar to the section of the Wall's-end strata.

Strata sunk through in the B. Pit Hebburn Colliery.
Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Clay 9 5 Brought forward 72 3 6
Grey metal stone 1 1 Thin post girdles with metal partings 1
Post with metal partings 8 4 Whin 3
Blue metal 2 White post with metal partings 5 6
Coal[40] 3 Grey metal 1
Blue metal 1 2 White post 4 9
Grey metal stone 2 3 Blue metal and grey 4 5 9
Post with metal partings 1 4 White post 4
Blue metal stone 5 6 Blue and grey metal 2 3 6
Grey metal with post girdles 2 4 6 Coal 5
Blue metal stone 1 5 Blue and grey metal 2 5 6
Grey metal with post girdles 5 2 Coal 2
Hard white post 1 4 Grey thil 2 4
Grey metal with post girdles 4 4 Blue and grey metal 3 1 2
Grey metal with open partings 3 Coal A (called the 70 fathom Coal) 1 2
Blue metal 6 5 6 Gray thil 4 6
Black and blue metal 1 1 6 Coal 2
Coal 1 Grey metal and post girdles 2
Black metal 6 Black and grey metal 2 5 6
White thil 4 10 Post 1 1 2
White post 2 5 Coal 4
Blue metal 1 Grey thil 1
Grey post 6 Blue and grey metal with post girdles 3 6
Grey metal mixed with post 1 Strong white post 4 4 6
Strong white post 2 3 6 Brown post with blue metal partings 1 1 10
White post with grey metal partings 4 6 Strong white post 4 4 2
Strong white post 8 Blue metal 1
Coal 1 Post 1 6
Grey thil 3 10 Black stone 5
Grey metal mixed with thil 1 5 White post 2 6
Grey metal 1 Blue and grey metal 1 5
Post with metal partings 3 Black stone 2
Strong white post mixed with whin 3 Coal 6
Grey and blue metal 4 Grey thil 4
Black stone 3 Blue and grey metal 5
Coal 4 Post 10 2
Black stone 1 4 High Main Coal (B) 1
Coal 1 White thil 1 8
Strong grey thil 2 6 slaty Coal 2 4
Strong grey post 10 Blue metal 1
White post girdles with metal partings 1 3
White post 3
─────── ───────
Carried forward 72 3 6 Total 131 3 11

Strata in Gateshead Fell.
Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Shiver and blue slate 3 Brought forward 70 4 3
White flag stone 2 Blue stone 2 3
Grindstone sill 11 Black stone 1
White post 1 3 Little Coal 2
Blue plate 1 Grey stone 2
Grey post 1 3 Yard Coal E. 3
Blue plate 1 White post 11 3
White plate 1 2 Bensham Seam F. 2
Blue sill 1 Blue plate 1 3
White post 3 4 Bandy Coal Seam 2
Three Quarter coal A 2 3 White post 6
White post the 70 fathom post
Grey post
Dun post
5 3 Blue plate 2
1 Six Quarter Coal G 4
6 Grey whin, Post plate 2 3
Blue plate (the black stone) 1 Five Quarter Seam H 3
White post (the main post) 11 Grey post 1 4
Upper Main Coal B 1 Bandu Coal Seam 1
Grey post 6 White post 5 1
Metal plate 3 Low-Main Coal I 1
Metal Coal C 3 Thil 2
White post 4 4 White post 3 4
Stone Coal D 2 Two Quarter Coal Seam J 2
Black stone 1 1 White post 21 1
Bandy Coal 1 Harvey's Main Coal K 3
White post 4 3
─────── ───────
Carried forward 70 4 3 Total 133 5 3

N. B. The letters in the different sections refer to the respective names of the several Seams of Coal in the Newcastle district, according to the classification on the river Tyne, and are as follows, viz.

A. The Three quarter, or 70 Fathom Coal.
B. The High-main Coal.
C. The Metal Coal.
D. The Stone Coal.
E. The Yard Coal.
F. The Bensham Seam.
G. The Six-Quarter Coal.
H. The Five-Quarter Coal.
I. The Low-main Seam.
J. The Two-Quarter Seam.
K. Harvey's Low-main Seam, called also the Beaumont Seam.

Seams of Coal under Newcastle Town—moor.
Fs. Ft. In.
High Main at 8 fathoms 1 thick
Metal Coal 13 ────── 1 6
Stone Coal 19 ────── 1 6
Yard Coal 29 ────── 2 10
Bensham Coal 40 ────── 2 10
Six Quarter Coal 53 ────── 1 6
Five Quarter 58 ────── 1 6
Low Main Coal 66 ────── 1 6

Seams of Coal at Kellsfield near Gateshead Fell.

Fs. Ft. In.
High Main at 11 fathoms 1 thick
Metal Coal 24 ────── 2 3
Stone Coal 24 ────── 1 8
Little Coal 26 ────── 1 10
Yard Coal 30 ────── 3
Bensham Coal 41 ────── 5
Five Quarter 61 ────── 3
Low Main 71 ────── 5
Harvey's Seam 97 ────── 3

Section of the Coal Strata on the Wear.

Fs. Y. F. In. Fs. Y. F. In.
Soil and Clay 9 Brought forward 80
Brown stone 2 High Main Coal 1
Grey Metal stone 4 Blue grey stone 2 1
Brown stone 2 White post 2 1
White post 7 Grey stone with partings 2 1 1
Blue stone 1 1 Brown post 4 2
Grey post 5 Whin 1
Blue slaty stone 2 Maudlin Coal 1
Grey stone 1 1 Blue stone 1 1
White post 3 1 White post 3 1
Black slaty stone 2 1 Grey Metal stone 3
Whin 1 Blue post 2
Grey post 1 1 Blue stone 1
White post 2 Low Main Coal[41] 1
Blue stone 1 1 2 3 Blue stone 1
Five Quarter Coal[42] 1 9 White post 2 1
Blue metal 1 1 1 Whin 1 2
Grey post 3 2 Grey post 1
Grey Metal stone 3 1 Blue metal 1 1
Whin 1 1 Hutton Seeam[43] 1 1
White post 4
Blue stone 2
──────── ────────
Carried forward 60 Total 94 1

Section of the Strata at Sheriff Hill on Gateshead Fell.

Fs. Y. F. In. Fs. Y. F. In.
Shiver and Blue slate sill 3 Brought forward 80
White flag post 2 8 Bensham Seam[44] 1 3
Grindstone sill 11 Blue plate 2
White post plate 1 1 9 Bandy Coal Seam 9
Blue plate 1 White post sill 5 2
Grey post plate 1 1 Blue plate 1
Blue plate 1 10 Six Quarter Coal 1 3
Whine plate 1 1 Grey Whin post 1 1 2 7
Blue sill 1 11 Five Quarter Coal[45] 1 2
White post sill 3 1 Grey post 1 1 2 3
1 Three quarter Coal 2 3 12 Bandy Coal Seam 9
White post sill 5 1 White post 5
Grey post 1 13 Low Main Coal[46] 1 6
Dun post sill 6 Dark white sill 1
Blue plate 1 9 White post 3 1 2 6
Eleven fathoms White post 11 14 Coal Quarter Coal 1 6
2 High Main Coal[47] 1 White post sill 21 6
Grey post sill 6
Metal plate 1 Harvey's Main Coal, or Wickham Stone Coal 1
3 Metal Coal 1 2 ──────────
White post 4 1 10 Fathoms 134
4 Stone Coal[48] 1 ──────────
Black stone sill 1 1

To the Brockwell, the lowest seam; which crops out at Basty Bank near Cement Park, Durham.

5 Bandy Coal Seam 6
White post sill 4 1 6
Blue plate 2 1 Grey metal and Metal stone 5 2 10
Black plate 1 6 Brockwell Seam 1 2
6 Little Coal Seam 6 ──────────
Grey sill 2 Fathoms 6
7 Yard Coal 2 ──────────
White post sill 11 1
Carried forward 88

Birtley Colliery.[49]
Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Brown post
Grey Metal stone
Brown stone
White post
Blue Metal stone
Grey post
Blue and grey Metal stone
32 Brought forward 43 5 6
White and brown post
Grey Metal stone with Whin near the bottom
11 6
Maudlin Seam 4 6
Blue post
Blue and grey Metal stone
12 1 6
Low Main Coal 3 3
Five Quarter Coal 3 9
Blue Metal stone
White post and Whin
7 2 9
Grey post
Grey Metal stone with whin girdles
10 2 3
Hutton Seam 4 6
Main Coal 5 6 ────────
Total 76 4 6

Boring at East Rainton Colliery.
Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Sunk to scaffold 10 1 Brought forward 42 2 6
Box and Bore hole 12 Strong grey stone mixed with whin 4
Whin 10 Grey metal stone mixed with water 2 6
Strong white post 2 Strong grey stone mixed with whin 1 4
Grey metal partings and post girdles 3 Whin 1 2
Dark grey metal (the black stone) 4 3 5 Grey metal with girdles 2 2
Gulbetty[50] white post with much water [51]
White post with water
Grey metal stone and girdles
White post with water
Strong white post with whin
White post with water
Strong blue metal with girdles and water
Soft grey metal
2 Foul Coal C 1 8
3 6 Soft grey metal 2
1 1 Strong grey metal with win girldes 2 4
2 4 Strong grey post with mixture of whin 2
2 6 Strong grey metal stone 2 4
2 3 9 Black grey metal 6
5 Five Quarter Coal D 3 8
2 Strong grey metal 3
Black grey metal with scares of Coal[52] B 3 Strong post mixed with whin 2
Strong grey metal with water 1 6 Strong grey metal stone 5
Strong post mixed with whin 1 1
Strong grey metal mixed with whin 1 2
Grey metal 1
High Main Coal[53] E 1
─────── ───────
Carried forward 42 2 6 Total 67 3

Seams of Coal at Axwell Park.
Fs. Ft. In.
High Main at Windy hill at 6 fathoms 1
Stone Coal 30 ────── 4
Jet or Splint Coal 41 ────── 2
Three quarter Coal 45 ────── 2 3

The first of these seams is good Coal, but is almost worked out. The second is slaty and handy, small and tender, but burns well. The third is a very had seam of Coal.

Seams of Coal at Morrisfield.
Fs. Ft. In.
Three quarter Coal at 45 fathoms 2 3
Coal next the roof Ft. 1 3
       Band of soft Black stone 9
       Scarey bandy Coal 3
52 ────── 5

This is a very tender and dull burning Coal. A hole was bored below it to the depth of 16 fathoms for the Shildon seam, but it was not found.

Seams of Coal at Thornley or Garesfield Colliery, two miles South of Axwell.
Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
The Stone and Five-quarter Coal seams Stone Coal 3 1 at 30 fath. 1 2 1
Fire clay 1 6
Five-quarter Coal 3 6
Brockwell seam at 39 fath. 3 4

Towards the east the Fire clay between the Stone Coal and Five-quarter Coal becomes so thick as not to be workable, and the Coal forms two distinct seams. The Coal is extremely tender and unfit for the London market.

Strata in Landchester Common.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Soil and clay 1 Brought forward 58 3
Brown post 1 5 9 Black grey metal stone 1 3
Grey metal stone 3 3 Grey metal stone with post girdles 3 2
Coal 10 Dark grey metal stone with post girdles 4 1
Grey metal stone 2 4 Brown post 3
Coal A 2 Grey metal stone 3 2
Grey metal stone mixed 8 1 6 Brown post 3 1
Coal 8 Grey post 3 1
Grey metal stone mixed with Coal 4 9 White post 1 5 2
Grey metal stone 2 Black metal stone 1 3
Grey post 1 6 Strong white post 3 6
Grey metal stone, top thereof mixed with girdles 4 3 Grey metal stone 4 6
White post. Shield row post (the Main post) 13 10 Strong grey post 1 3 7
Shield Row Coal B 5 3 Whin 3 8
Whitish grey metal stone with post girdles 6 3 Grey and white post mixed wut h whin 6 5 6
Grey post 2 3 5 Blue grey metal stone mixed with whin girdles 1 1
Grey metal stone 3 Blue grey metal stone mixed with whin girdles 1 1
White post 1 3 Coal, the Hutton's Seam E 1 1
Grey metal stone 3 2 White post 5 10
Black-grey metal stone 1 4 Coal F 1 8
Coal, the Hard Coal Seam C 4 9 Blue metal stone 1 3 9
Dark grey metal stone mixed with Coal 1 9 Grey post mixed with whin 3
Coal, the Brass Coal Seam D 5 3 Blue metal stone 1 5
White post 1 2 2 Coal, the Low Main F or G 3 6
Grey metal stone with girdles 4
─────── ───────
Carried forward 58 3 Total 96 2 2

It is rather doubtful whether these two Coals are not the same seam divided.

Strata at Pontop Pike Colliery, situated on Landchester Common.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Soil and clay 1 Brought forward 58 3
Brown post 1 5 9 Black grey metal stone 1 3
Grey metal stone 3 3 Grey metal stone with post girdles 3 2
Coal 10 Dark grey metal stone with post girdles 4 1
Grey metal stone 2 4 Brown post 3
Coal A 2 Grey metal stone 3 2
Grey metal stone mixed 8 1 6 Brown post 3 1
Coal 8 Grey post 3 1
Grey metal stone mixed with Coal 4 9 White post 1 5 2
Grey metal stone 2 Black metal stone 1 3
Grey post 1 6 Strong white post 3 6
Grey metal stone, the top mixed with girdles 4 3 Grey metal stone 4 6
White post. Shield row post (the Main post) 13 10 Strong grey post 1 3 7
Shield Row Coal B (High main at Sheriff hill) 5 3 Whin 3 8
Whitish grey metal stone with post girdles 6 3 Grey and white post mixed wut h whin 6 5 6
Grey post 2 3 5 Blue grey metal stone mixed with whin girdles 1 1
Grey metal stone 3 Blue grey metal stone mixed with whin girdles 1 1
White post 1 3 Coal, the Hutton's Seam E (Five quarter and Six quarter at Sheriff hill) 1 1
Grey metal stone 3 2 White post 5 10
Black-grey metal stone 1 4 Coal F (20 inch Seam) 1 8
Coal, the Hard Coal Seam C (Stone Coal at Sheriff hill) 4 9 Blue metal stone 1 3 9
Dark grey metal stone mixed with Coal 1 9 Grey post mixed with whin 3
Coal, the Brass Coal Seam D (Yard coal at sheriff hill) 5 3 Blue metal stone 1 5
White post 1 2 2 Main Coal G, the Low Main at Sheriff hill 3 6
Grey metal stone with girdles 4
─────── ───────
Carried forward 58 3 Total 96 2 2

Section of the Strata at Grienlield Colliery, half a mile West of Aukland.

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Soil 1 9 Brought forward 21 1 2 2
clay 1 Sill 2
Blue metal 1 Grey metal stone 1 1 1 6
Grey metal stone 1 1 Strong grey stone 1 9
Strong grey metal 2 Blue metal and metal stone 3 6
Blue metal 1 Dark blue metal 1 1 2 6
1 Coal 9 Black metal stone 1
Sill 1 6 7 Coal 9
Grey metal stone and blue metal 1 1 6 Band 9
Strong grey post 1 8 Crow-Coal 1 1 6
Blue metal 1 2 Grey sill 1 2 6
Black metal stone 1 White post 1 1
2 Coal 1 9 Coal 9
Sill 1 Grey metal with brown scars 1 9
Grey metal stone 1 1 2 9 Grey metal stone with post 1
Grey post 1 9 Strong white post 2 1 6
Brown post 3 2 6 Blue metal 2
Grey metal 1 6 Strong grey metal 1 2 9
3 Coal 1 6 Blue metal 2 6
Sill 1 3 Strong grey metal stone 1
4 Coal 1 6 Blue metal 1 9
Sill 1 White post 3 2 6
Grey metal 1 2 3 Blue metal 1 1 2 9
Metal stone 1 Black swad 1 6
5 Coal 1 10 Main Coal 1 2 10
Grey metal 2 1
6 Coal 8
───────── ─────────
Carried forward 21 1 2 2 Total 46 1 6

Section of the Strata at Cockfield Colliery.

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Soil 1 Brought forward 16 1
Brown stony clay 1 Grey metal stone 1 9
Grey post 2 1 9 Whin 10
Brown and white post 3 1 1 3 Grey metal stone with girdles 2 1 3 8
Strong white post 2 9 Dark blue metal 1
White post 2 1 2 Coal 1
Grey metal stone 1 6 Grey sill 9
1 Coal 1 2 9
Grey sill 2
Grey metal stone 3 1 2
Black stone mixed with Coal 2
───────── ─────────
Carried forward 16 1 Total 22 1 6

I have now concluded the most important of the geological observations I had to make upon the Coal-field, and it remains only to give some account of the mineral springs that occur within its limits, and of the deleterious gases to which the mines are subject.

The mineral springs have been found either bursting out at the surface, or have been discovered in the shafts of mines, and in the dykes that intersect the strata. Those impregnated with common salt have been noticed in the pits at Walker, Wall's end, and Percy main, and in most of the deep mines between Newcastle and Shields: on the Wear they have been found at Birtley and Lumley-thick, and appear rising to the day at Ouston 1 mile west of Birtley, and at Butterby near Durham.

The spring at Walker issues into a deserted shaft from a bed of slate-clay at the depth of 55 fathoms; but being dammed up rises 33 fathoms higher to within 22 fathoms of the surface, and 15 fathoms of the level of the Tyne. It is pumped from a reservoir in the pit for the manufacture of soda, the salt obtained in the intermediate process being exempted by an Act of Parliament from the salt duty. The following is the analysis of this water by Mr. G. Woods.

Contents in 1000 grains of water.
Dry muriate of soda 82
Dry muriate of lime 10
Muriate of magnesia 1
Carbonate of lime
Carbonate of iron
43 grains
A little carbonic acid gas.

About thirty years since a brine spring was discovered at Birtley colliery 76 fathoms below the surface, in driving a water level through a slip of 4 fathoms throw. The spring being found to produce 26400 gallons of water in twenty-four hours, extensive salt works were erected on the spot, which are still carried on with success. Within 50 or 60 yards north of the slip, from which the spring issues, the Birtley dyke before mentioned crosses the strata from east to west, casting up the coal measures on the northern side 99 fathoms; and the slip having a south-eastern direction probably meets the dyke and is a branch from it. The water level is driven in a bed of blue shale containing ironstone in beds and in nodules. The analysis of the water by Mr. G. Woods is as follows.[54]

Contents in 1000 grains of water.
Dry muriate of soda 87
Dry muriate of lime 43
Muriate of magnesia 1
Carbonate of lime
Carbonate of iron
131 grains
A little carbonic acid gas.

Before the publication of Camden's Britannia in 1607, a brine spring had been observed to issue from the rocky bed of the Wear at Salt water Haugh near Butterby; for in that work it is first mentioned. In 1684, Mr. Hugh Todd drew up an account of this and other springs in that neighbourhood, which was addressed in a letter to the Bishop of Carlisle, and inserted in the Philosophical Transactions. The spring continues to flow from the crevices of a basaltic vein for the space of 50 yards in length by 10 in breadth, and in summer, when the water is low, tinges the rocks red, and deposits a crust of salt upon them. The brine of this spring contains carbonate of iron, muriate of soda, and sulphate and carbonate of lime; but as it becomes mixed with the fresh water in issuing from the rock, the proportions of the mineral ingredients have not been well ascertained.

Within the distance of 200 yards from this spring two others of very different natures rise from bore-holes in the coal-measures. These are situated in a small dell, and according to Mr. Todd were discovered at the depth of 12 fathoms.

The spring furthest from the river is called the sweet well, and contains according to Dr. Clanny a small quantity of lime held in solution by carbonic acid. Half way between the sweet well and the Wear a sulphurous spring issues, and from the following analysis by Dr. Clanny, it will probably be found to possess valuable medicinal properties.

Contents in a wine-gallon of water.
Muriate of lime grains 5.
muriate of soda 56. 5
Muriate of magnesia 4. 5
Carbonate of lime 5. 5
Carbonate of lime 3. 5
Gazeous Contents
A little carbonic acid gas. Cub. In. 8.
Azotic gas. 3.
Sulphuruted hydrogene. 11. 5
A little carbonic acid gas. ────
A little carbonic acid gas. 22.

Chalybeate springs, some of which deposit large quantities of yellow ochre, are common in every part of the Coal-field; and a water which flowed through the wooden pipes at Walker colliery, used to let fall a copious precipitate of gypsum. The substance formed during the twelve working hours of the mine was black, but at other times was as white, and had the same degree of hardness as chalk. A layer formed in twelve hours was about of an inch in, thickness. Specimens of this sediment are to be found in many cabinets, but are now no longer to be procured, the high main coal being there exhausted, and the colliery laid in.

The choak damp, the fire damp, and the after damp or 'stythe, are the miner's terms for the gases with which the coal mines are affected; and of these the second both from its immediate violence and as occasioning the other kinds of damps is the most to be dreaded. The accidents arising from it have become more common of late years, but it should not for a moment be supposed that they arise from any want of skill or attention in the professional surveyors of the mines. The following seem to be the causes in which the gas originates.

1st. The coal appears to part with a portion of carburetted hydrogene, when newly exposed to the atmosphere; a fact rendered probable by the well known circumstance of the coal being more inflammable when fresh from the pit than after long exposure to the air. 2d. The pyritous shales that form the floors of the coal-seams decompose the water that lodges in them, and this process is constantly operating on a great scale in the extensive wastes of old mines. In whatever mode we suppose the gas to be generated, it is disengaged abundantly from the High Main, but more particularly from the Low Main coal-seam, and that in a quantity and with a rapidity that are surprising. It is well known that the gas frequently fires in a shaft long before the coal-seam is reached by the sinkers; and that the pitmen occasionally open with their picks crevices in the coal or shale, which emit 700 hogsheads of fire damp in a minute. These blowers (as they are termed) continue in a state of activity for many months together, and seem to derive their energy from communicating with immense reservoirs of air. All these causes unfortunately unite in the deep and valuable collieries situated between the great-north road and the sea. Their air courses are 30 or 40 miles in length, and here as might be expected the most tremendous explosions ensue.

The after damp or stythe, which follows these blasts, is a mixture of the carbonic acid and azotic gases resulting from the combustion of the carburetted hydrogene in atmospheric air, and more lives are destroyed by this than by the violence of the fire damp.

To guard against these accidents every precaution is taken, that prudence can devise, in conducting and in ventilating the mines. Before the pitmen descend, wastemen, whose business is to examine those places where danger is suspected to lurk, traverse with flint mills the most distant and neglected parts of the workings, in order to ascertain whether atmospheric air circulates through them. Large furnaces are kept burning at the upcast shafts, in aid of which at Wall's end colliery a powerful air-pump, worked by a steam engine, is employed to quicken the draft: this alone draws out of the mine 1000 hogsheads of air in a minute. A kind of trap-door, invented by Mr. Buddle, has also been introduced into the workings of this colliery. This is suspended from the roof by hinges, wherever a door is found necessary to prevent the escape of air. It is propped up close to the roof in a horizontal position; but in case of an explosion the blast removes the prop, when the door falls down and closes the aperture.

It may be desirable to give an estimate of the quantity of coal that is annually received from the Coal-field. The annual shipment of coal for a series of years from the Tyne, the Wear, Hartley and Blyth will be found in the appendix, No. 2. From these it appears that the quantity shipped

From the port of Newcastle, in the year 1813, was of Newcastle chaldrons[55] 598,773
From the port of Sunderland 330,967
From Hartley and Blyth, in the year 1811. 53,958
[56]The quantity shipped annually from the four ports being about 983,698
The quantity vended from 35 Landsale pits in the county of Durham was in the year 1808 78,442
The quantity consumed in Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Shields, Hartley and Blyth was computed by Dr. Macnab[57] in the year 1801, at 190,000

But there are no precise data for calculating the home consumption of the two counties. About thirty years ago a practice was adopted at the pits, where the coal was of a fragile nature, of erecting screens to separate the small from the sounder coal. This system is now become universal, and immense heaps of coal are thus raised at the mouths of the pits. These soon take fire from the heat of the decomposing pyrites,[58] and not less than 100,000 chaldrons are thus annually destroyed on the Tyne and nearly an equal quantity on the Wear. It is greatly to be desired that some use should be found for the small coal in order to prevent so great a waste.

IV. Lead-mine Measures.

The metalliferous or lead-mine measures form the northern and western boundaries of the Coal-field. This formation enters Northumberland from the northern side of the Tweed, and constitutes its southern banks from its junction with the Tiviot at Kelso to the sea. In a south-eastern direction it follows the coast from Berwick to the Coquet for 32 miles. The porphyritic mountains of Cheviot interrupt it towards the west for about 20 miles; but having passed the southernmost point of that ridge it stretches across the whole breadth of Northumberland, and is spread over the adjacent borders of Cumberland, Durham, Westmoreland and Yorkshire. It is terminated towards the west by the red sandstone near Brampton and Melmerby, about 54 miles from the sea at Tynemouth and at Seaham.

The characteristic features of the north-eastern part of this district are gently swelling hills, heightened occasionally by mountain caps of basalt, and then assuming a rugged and broken aspect on their summits. Towards the western part of Northumberland it forms sterile moor-lands and exposed sheep-pastures, being still accompanied by basaltic eminences: the river vallies, however, that intersect these wastes, are fertile and picturesque in a high degree. If a line be drawn across the island through Newcastle and Carlisle, the highest station between the German ocean and the Irish channel is not more than 445 feet above the level of the sea; upon this spot the village of Glenwhelt is built.[59] On the banks of the South Tyne in Kearsdale, the country begins to assume a more majestic form, and rising into a mountain range it constitutes the central ridge that traverses the island. Cross Fell, situated near the junction of the five northern counties, may be considered as the summit of the whole chain. Its latitude is 54° 42′ .05″ north, and its distance I from the eastern coast 55 miles. Its height is 2901 feet, and it is therefore one of the highest mountains in England.[60]

The strata in the southern and mountainous part of this district dip on an average 2° 15′, or 1 yard in 27 to the cast 35° south, so that on crossing the range from east to west they will be seen cropping out one after the other, and forming parallel ridges extending from the south-west to the north-east. In this part of the mining field considerable uniformity may be observed amongst the sills. Thus the sections at Allenheads, Coal cleugh, Aldstone moor, and in Weardale, are allied to those above Blanchland on the Derwent, and agree very closely with one another: if therefore those of Hely field, Aldstone moor, Dufton Fell, and its sequel, be taken in succession, they will give no very inaccurate representation of the prevailing series of beds in this part of the district, and the total thickness of these beds thus obtained will be 2717 feet. In the less elevated tracts of Northumberland this uniformity is no longer preserved, and it is only a very general resemblance that the measures then bear to those of the south. On the banks of the Tweed the disagreement becomes more evident, so that it may even be doubted whether the rocks of that valley are correctly placed among the lead mine measures.

Some of the members of this formation agree with those of the Coal-field, viz. coal, shale and sandstone; but other rocky masses also attend the lead mine measures and serve to distinguish them. These are the coarse grained sandstone called the millstone grit, sandstone with impressions of marine shells, shale with the encrinal fossil, the encrinal limestone, siliceous hornstone or chert, and basalt in beds or in overlying positions.

The four first of the following sections are those which I have already referred to as representing not inaccurately the series of beds in the mining field. The additional sections from Blanchland resemble the upper part of the Aldstone moor section, and that from Weardale the lower. I have added the section from Arkendale in Yorkshire for the sake of comparison.

Section of the Lead-mine Strata at Hely Field on the river Derwent.

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Slate still 2 1 Brought up 35
Plate 3 1 Hard hazle 2 1
Different girdles beds 2 Grey beds (Thislayers of slate clay and sandstone alternating) 1
Plate 2 1 Freestone 7
Freestone (fine grained sandstone) 7 Plate 1
Coarse hazle 1 1 Hazle or Slate 2 1
Plate and Blue whin 1 Plate of Famp 2
Plate and grey beds 2 Hazle and Plate 2 1
Hard stone and whin 1 2 Plate 2
Plate and Whin 1 1 2 Hazle or Slate 1 1
Plate 2 1 Plate and Grey beds 1 1
Millstone grit 5 Thin stratum of Grey beds 15
Plate 4 1
──────── ────────
Carried up 35 Fathoms 75

Section of the Strata at Beldon above Blanchland on the Derwent.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Low Pit (A) 5 1 Brought up 32 4
Pebbles Plate 3 1
Plate 2 5 Coal and Hard Coal sill 1 4
Lime (A 2) 3 Grey beds 1 2
Coal 1 Plate and Coal 1 4
Plate 1 Low Coal sill (Sandstone) 2 3
Hard strings Plate 1
Craig's sill(B) 4 2 Hazle 3
Plate 1 5 Plate 1
Cockle shells Great Lime (E) 9 2
Pattison's sill (C) 2 4 6 Tuft 4
Plate 4 1 6 Grey beds 2 6
Hazle 3 Hazle 1 1 3
Plate 2 Plate 1 1 6
Hazle 4 3 Hewitson's Lime (F) 4
Plate 1 2
Little Lime and Black bed (D) 1 3
─────── ───────
Carried up 32 4 Fathoms 59 4 2

Section of the Strata at Shildon above Blanchland.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Hipple 7 Brought up 69 3 3
Plate 7 Hazle 3
High grit 8 3 6 Plate 2 1
Plate and Coal 3 3 Hazle 4
Plate and white sill 1 1 9 Plate 5 2
Plate, Coal and Plate 3 6 Little Limestone (D) 2 1
Low grit (A) 11 6 Plate and Coal 5
Plate 1 4 9 Coal sill 1 1 3
Pebbles 1 Plate 2
Plate, Lime, Post and Hazle (A2) 1 4 Coal, &c 3
Crag sill (B) 4 2 Low Coal sill 1 2
Plate 4 3 6 White sill 3 4
Pattison's sill (C) 6 4 6 Grey beds 8
White sill 2 Plate 1
Hazle 4 5 Great Limestone
Plate 4
─────── ───────
Carried up 69 3 3 Fathoms 91 2

Section of the Strata from Brandon Wells to Westgate in Weardale.
Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Great Limestone (E) 11 Brought up 44 1
Tuft or water sill 1 3 Three yard Limestone (G) 2 2 4
Plate 2 Plate 3
High quarry hazle 1 3 Hazle 6 3 2
Plate 3 Plate 3
Low quarry hazle 2 Limestone (H) 3 3 5
Plate 9 Plate 2
Four fathoms Limestone (F) 4 Hugh slaty hazle 1 5
Plate 3 Plate 1
Hazle 6 1 3 Low grey beds Slaty hazle 1 3
Plate 5 4 10
──────── ────────
Carried up 44 1 Fathoms 62 1

Section of the Lead-mine Strata on Aldstone Moor, Cumberland.

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Grindstone sill 4 Brought up 67 1
Plate 6 Plate 3
Hazle 1 Little Limestone (D) 1 1 1
Plate 2 Little hazle 1 2
Limestone (1) Crow Coal occasionally 1 Plate Coal occasionally 2
Hazle or upper Coal sill 1 Hugh Coal sill (Hard grey sandstone with specks of mica) 1 1 1
Plate 8 Plate Coal occasionally 1
Hazle 1 1 1 Low Coal sill 2
Plate 2 1 Plate 3 2
Hazle 2 2 Tumblers and Great Limestone (E) 10 1 1
Plate 1 Tuft or Water sill 1 2
Upper Slate sill 4 Plate 2 1
Plate 1 1 Limestone post 1 1
Lower Slate sill 4 Quarry hazle 4
Plate 5 2 Plate 5
Whetstone sill (Fine grained Micaceous sandstone) 1 1 Indurated bluish clay with laminæ of hard stone and Iron pyrites 5
Plate (Ferruginous sandstone) 2 Great girdles bed 1
Iron stone with Coal 1 1 Four fathoms Limestone (F) 4
Freestone with Iron pyrites 5 1 Nattras gill quarry hazle. Coarse grained sandstone 3
Plate 6 1 Plate 6
Girdles beds 1 2
Plate 3 1
Pattison's sill or hazle (C) Very hard grey sandstone with specks of mica 1 1
────────── ──────────
Carried up 67 1 Carried up 121 1

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Brought up 121 1 Brought up
Coal occasionally
145 1
Two fathoms Limestone (G) 2 Plate 1 2
Plate 1 1 Cocklesmell Limestone 1 6
Arthur's Pit quarry sill 4 Hazle 2 1
Plate 1 1 1 Plate 1 1
Limestone (H) 1 2 Limestone 1 1 6
Hazle 2 Plate 4 1
Tumblers and Scar Limestone 9 Tyne Bottom Limestone 3 1 1
Plate 1
Grey beds 2 1
────────── ──────────
Carried up 145 1 Fathoms 159 1

Section of the Lead-mine Strata at Dufton, Westmoreland.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Gret Whin sill (Basalt) 10 Brought up 33 3
Plate 3 Great Hazle 10
Hazle 2 Plate 4
Plate 2 Smiddy Lime 4 1
Hazle 3 Hazle 1
Plate 1 1 Limestone 4 1
Jew Limestone 3 Hazle 1
Plate 1 Limestone 3
Hazle 5 Plate 1 1
Plate 1 1 Limestone 1 1
Little Limestone 1 Plate 1 1
Hazle 1 1 Robinson's Great Limestone 14
─────── ───────
Carried up 33 3 Fathoms 78 4

Section of the Strata observed to crop out from below the Dufton Sills.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Hazle 1 1 Brought up 54 5
Plate 1 Freestone 1 1
Great Limestone or Rundal or Melmerby Scar 21 Limestone 2
Plate 2 Hard freestone 2
Freestone 1 Plate and Coal (7 inch seam) 8
Plate and Small Coal 1 Freestone 26 1
Lime 4 Girdle bed 2
Freestone 18 Limestone 3 1
Plate 1 1 Freestone 30
Freestone 1 1 Plate, upper part black, lower part reddish
Old red sandstone
Plate 2
Freestone 1 1
Plate 1
──────── ─────────
Carried up 54 5 Fathoms 140 2

Section of the Lead-mine Strata at Arkendale in Yorkshire.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
White grit 5 Brought up 58 1 6
Coal 1 6 Girdles 2
Millstone grit 14 3 Plate 3
Plate 5 Chert or Iron beds 2
Lime 2 Red beds 2
Plate 3 Plate 1
Lime 3 Black beds 2 3
Plate 1 Plate 1
Lime 3 Lime 2
Plate 4 1 Plate 4
Flinty chert 2 4 Main chert 3
Plate 1 Main lime 12
Crow chert 1 Dead grit 9
Plate 1 3 Underset chert 6
Second Crow chert 2 Underset lime 3
Crow lime 2 Underset grit 6
First Soapy grit 1 Girdle 2 3
Coal bed 1 Plate 5
Second Soapy grit 1 1 Grit 12
Plate 1 2 Plate 5
Grit 11 Lime 6
─────── ───────
Carried up 58 1 6 Fathoms 136 2 6

The uppermost of the beds detailed in these sections consist of sandstone and shale, and they are the first that rise from beneath the coal formation. The most remarkable of the sandstones are

1. The slate sill, a fine grained, micaceous, slaty rock of a grey colour, used as a roofing slate in many villages of Northumberland and Durham. It is the uppermost bed in the section of Hely field.

2. The freestone sills: these are fine grained sandstones frequently containing vegetable impressions.

3. Hard ferruginous line grained sandstones called hazles by the miners. The sandstone in the section of Aldstone moor, called nattras gill hazle, is however coarse grained. These are sometimes slaty, and occasionally bear the impressions of bivalve shells.

4. The millstone grit, a coarse white sandstone composed of small angular grains of quartz, with rounded pebbles of the same substance imbedded in them. This is one of the uppermost strata on the Derwent, where it crops out, and is quarried for millstones. The quarries are on Muggleswick Fell, and also between Wolsingham and Stanhope in Weardale. The thickness of the rock at Muggleswick is about 5 fathoms. The hilly district of the lead mine country affords but one stratum of this rock, which crops out before it reaches Aldstone moor or Allendale. It is probably the same bed which is found in the section of Arkendale. A similar rock is found in the north-eastern part of Northumberland at Scramerstone four miles south of Berwick, and at Craster near Howick; and with this durable material the castle of Dunstanborough is built. The grey millstones of Muggleswick are employed for grinding rye, but those brought from Derbyshire are preferable in quality.

5. The grindstone sill, a fine grained yellowish sandstone, which on Aldstone moor, Coal cleugh, and Allenheads is the uppermost bed, and is found near the surface at Nent head and on the summit of Cross Fell. On Aldstone moor its thickness is about 4 fathoms. Grindstones, greatly inferior to those of Newcastle, are made of it for home consumption.

Below the limestone in the Aldstone moor section the following other sandstones may deserve notice.

1. The whetstone sill, a fine grained micaceous sandstone, which may be seen at this day at Burtreeford.

2. The iron-stone sill, a ferruginous sandstone, containing iron pyrites in abundance.

3. Firestone, a porous line grained sandstone, used for the construction of furnaces, and varying from 5 to 6 fathoms in thickness.

4. Pattison's sill, a very hard grey sandstone with specks of mica.

5. The coal sills, many of them resembling the last.

6. The water-sill, called also tuft, a very porous light-coloured sandstone, of a soft texture from the loose aggregation of the small grains which compose it.

The beds of sandstone are thickest towards the lower part of the series. Thus at Hely field the freestones are 7 fathoms thick, the most considerable of the grits at Shieldon about 11 fathoms, the great hazle at Dufton 10 fathoms, and three of the freestones in the section below that of Dufton 18, 26, and 30 fathoms respectively.

The limestone beds are the most characteristic of this formation, and are the most important to the miner. Of these there are 21 beds in the preceding sections of which the aggregate thickness is about 96 fathoms, that of the whole series being, as I have already mentioned, about 458 fathoms.

The most remarkable are 1, the great limestone, the 3d in the series, from 10 to 11 fathoms thick, consisting of three strata divided by indurated clay. The stone is a brownish black or dark bluish grey encrinal marble in which bivalve shells are imbedded. It bassets at Frosterley in Weardale, where large quantities of it are quarried for agricultural uses and building cement, or for ornamental purposes. It burns to a lime of a mild nature, highly valued as a manure, and contains according to Sir H. Davy 96 per cent. of carbonate of lime.

2. The scar limestone, the 7th in the series, 5 fathoms thick, resembling the great limestone both in its colour and organic remains, and like it divided into three strata. This rock crops out in the little river Nent, and forms the barrier at the cascade called Nent force.

The aqueduct level, carried on by the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital, begins near Aldstone, and is driven at its commencement immediately below this bed of limestone: it is now two miles long from north to south.

3. The cockleshell limestone, not exceeding 20 inches in thickness, and next below the scar limestone. It is of a dark iron-grey colour, and contains besides the encrinal fossil, oyster shells of the diameter of 4 or 5 inches, and other bivalve shells. It crops out in several of the small gills on Aldstone moor, where it does not exceed in thickness 20 inches.

4. The Tyne bottom limestone, the 10th in the series, 21 feet thick. It is an encrinal limestone, consisting of 3 strata, forming the bed of the Tyne for 4 miles from Tyne head to Garigill gate, and is the lowest bed in which the mines have been wrought on Aldstone moor, though nearly the uppermost at Dufton.

5. Robinson's great limestone, the lowest in the Dufton section, and 14 fathoms thick.

6. Melmerby scar limestone, the thickest in the whole formation, measuring 21 fathoms in Melmerby cliff§ where it bassets out. It contains the encrinal fossil, and bivalve shells.

The beds of limestone have been observed to be more regular in thickness throughout the mining field than those of shale or of sandstone.

The beds of shale or plate (as it is called) are very numerous, and are found alternating with the rocks of limestone and sandstone. They are seldom so thick as 7 or 8 fathoms; but the plate sill, which is the lowest bed in the section below that of Dufton, measures 10 fathoms. Shale alternating with sandstone in thin layers sometimes forms beds of considerable thickness, (see section of Hely field,) which are called grey beds: when containing laminæ of hardstone and iron pyrites it is called a girdle bed. Iron pyrites is found imbedded in the shales in great abundance, and in various forms; but owing to the high price of fuel and the great distance from any seaport it cannot be manufactured into green vitriol to advantage. Clay ironstone is found in the shale, forming either thin subordinate strata, or nodules; at Aldstone and in Teesdale it occurs forming septaria with internal divisions, such as are represented in St. Fond's travels; and at the latter place it forms the œtite or eaglestone of the old mineralogists. It is more abundant in the shales of this formation than in those of the Coalfield, but the only iron work now existing within the limits of my map is that of the Tyne company at Lemmington 3 miles west of Newcastle. The Carton company formerly collected on Holy Island a part of the ore smelted at their furnaces, but they have long since relinquished this undertaking.

About the beginning of the last century, according to Wallis, an iron manufactory was established at Lee Hall, in the vale of North Tyne near to Bellingham. The director of it was a Mr. Wood, son of the Irish projector of that name. The ore was plentiful in the strata of a romantic precipice on the east side of the river, and a good deal of bar iron was made from it; but it seems that charcoal becoming scarce the work was relinquished. Large quantities of slag are still found scattered over the surface, or forming considerable mounds, wherever the Romans carried their roads or fixed their stations.

The variety of carbonate of lime called satin spar, forms a thin stratum in a bed of black slate-clay, which crops out at Aldstone close to the brewery. The specimens are generally intersected by veins of iron pyrites and slate-clay. Some buildings stand upon the bank out of which this mineral was quarried, and the proprietor to save them from being undermined has built a wall close to the face of the rock; so that satin-spar is no longer to be procured, and is become a scarce mineral.

There are few parts of the Lead-mine district in which coal is not to be found, though the seams cannot be compared in magnitude to those of the Newcastle formation. In the mountainous parts of the district the seams are extremely limited in extent, being soon squeezed out, as the miners term it, and seldom exceeding 20 inches in thickness. In the high grounds, near the sources of the South Tyne and the Allen, Coarse or Grow coal abounds; and on Aldstone moor five seams of this fossil are imbedded between the grindstone sill and the Tyne bottom limestone: it does not appear among the sills on the Derwent towards the Cast, or of Dufton towards the west of Aldstone, but occurs near the summit of Cross Fell, where no other is to be met with. Crow coal generally rests upon a thil or plate of slate-clay; but the beds being very uncertain in their extent are seldom noticed in the Lead-mine sections. They are worked at a small expense by means of drifts into the sides of the hills, and as fuel is scarce in the mountainous district, Crow coal becomes an object worthy of attention.

This mineral is of a dirty sooty-black colour, and contains much sulphur, which renders its smoke extremely offensive. At Aldstone it is mixed with clay and made up into balls, which yield considerable heat on burning, but emit scarcely any flame.

On leaving the mountainous district, the seams of coal are found improved in point of quality and thickness, and it will appear from the following localities, over what an extent of country that mineral is found.

It occurs at Stublick, six miles south-west of Hexham; at Wall near Fallowfield; near Bellingham on the North Tyne, where many good seams are found; at Kerryburn near the foot of the Carter on the borders of Roxburghsbire; in the vale of the Reed; at Elsdon; at Woolcoats on the moors near Harbottle castle; at Hesleyhurst; at Healy-coat; near Carlington castle; at Newton; at Shilbottle; at Elginham; near Craster; neat Beadnell; near Belford; and at Tweedmouth in the vicinity of Berwick.

In the north-eastern part of Northumberland, near the sea, the seams are tolerably thick, and very good in quality; that of Shilbottle for instance, which supplies Alnwick with coal, (see the section below.) The mines are usually of inconsiderable depth in comparison of those in the Newcastle coal-field; that of Shilbottle is one of the deepest, measuring 45 fathoms. That of Newton (see the section page 71,) measures 16 fathoms, and some of the pits near Berwick only 15 fathoms. The mines of Stublick and Wall, on the borders of the mountainous district, are severally 16 and 19 fathoms deep, and each contains three seams of coal. (See the sections p. 70.)

The coal alternates with slate-clay, limestone, and sandstone, and at many of the places where coal is worked, limestone is also quarried. In the maritime district, from the Coquet to the Tweed, the measures dip to the south-east, and unlike the beds of the Newcastle coal-field undulate with the surface of the earth.

The following sections will give some notion of the measures that accompany the coal to the north of the mountainous district.

Section of the Strata at Shilbottle Colliery, 2 miles South of Alnwick.

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Clay 2 1 1 Brought up 28 1 1 10
Freestone 10 Main slate 7
Blue slate 7 Blue limestone 3
Blue limestone 4 Thil 1
1 Coal 4 Freestone 1 1
Thil 1 Metal 1
Freestone 1 1 2 11 Blue limestone 2
2 Coal 1 Thil 1 1
Thil 1 6 Ironstone 6
3 Coal 1 Rough stone 2
Thil 1 4 Coal 2 7
Main freestone 2 1 1
─────── ───────
Carried up 28 1 1 10 Fathoms 45 1 1 11

Section of the Strata at Wall, near Fallowfield, 3 miles North of Hexham.

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Soil 1 Brought up 17 2
Sand and bluish clay with hard tumblers 3 1 2 Brown and grey metal with sand skares 1 6
Sand 1 2 Coal 1 9
Strongish blue clay (stony) 1 1 2 Grey metal 2
Soft grey metal with whin girdles 2 1 1 3 Coal 3
Rombly[61] limestone 2 6 Grey metal skared with Coal 6
Strong thready blue limestone 2 1 Grey metal inclining in metal-stone near the bottom 1
Blue skared metal 4
Strong grey metal stone 1 1 2
1 Foul Coal 1 2
Grey metal 1
Brown and grey thready post 4
───────── ─────────
Carried up 17 2 Fathoms 19 1 1 6

Section of the Strata at Low Stublick, 5 miles South-west of Hexham.

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Soil and rumble 1 1 1 Brought up 17 2
Grey metal stone with girdles and water 3 2 Grey metal 2
White and grey gullety post, and set away the water[62] 3 1 2 Whitish grey post 1 1 1
1 Coal with water 2 4 Blue grey metal 2
Grey metal with girdles 1 White psot mixed with whin 1
Grey metal 1 Soft sandy white post 1 1
2 Coal 1 1 Dark grey metal 1 2 6
Grey metal 2 5 Coal with white skares 2
3 Coal 7 ──────────
Foul Coal 3 Fathoms 16 1 2
Grey metal 9 ──────────
4 Coal with white spar 5
Seams now working, 1814
At 12 fathoms 34 inches
18 fathoms 27 inches
20 fathoms 45 inches
Carried up 17 2

Section of the Strata at Allendale Town, 7 miles South-west of Hexham.

Fs. Y. Ft. In. Fs. Y. Ft. In.
Soil 6 Brought up 18 1 2
Stony clay 1 Strong white post with whin girdles 1
Rombly post 2 6 Grey metal stone with hard girdles 3 2
Strong grey and brown post 2 1 Whin (4 days) 1 7
White grey post 2 1 2 3 Strong dark grey metal with whin girdles 2 1 2 6
Dark grey post 4 1 3 Blue whin (get 24th June, and continued to 6th July) 1 8
White grey metal with post girdles 2 1 ─────────
Dark grey metal stone 1 1 6 Fathoms 26 1 2 8
White post mixed with whin 1 ─────────
Dark grey metal 1
White grey metal with hard post girdles 2 1
Carried up 18 1 2

In the colliery of Newton, situated 3 miles north of Felton and 6 from the sea, the strata dip to the south-east 1 yard in 5.

The following is a section which I received from the overman of the mine.

Fs. Ft. In.
Clay 4
Sill of limestone, consisting of 5 strata; that near the middle containing impressions of bivalve shells 4
Red sandstone and shale 8
Coal of an indifferent quality, worked for burning lime 2
Five yard limestone 2 3
Sandstone and shale
Good Coal 3
Fathoms 15

The organic remains found imbedded in the limestone shale and sandstone that belong to the lead mine measures are the following.

In the limestone.

1. Light brown impressions of the turbinite madrepore (junci lapidei) Parkinson vol. 2. tab. 6. fig. 1. In the great limestone at Frosterly and elsewhere.

2. Madrepora. See Parkinson, vol. 2. tab. 6. fig. 3. in the same limestone, and in a stratum resembling it in colour, situated on both banks of the Tyne near Glenwhelt.

3. A grey limestone may be observed in detached masses on the high banks above the East Allen composed almost entirely of a fossil called madrepore flexuosa. See Parkinson, vol. 2. tab. 6. fig. 8. The same rock also occurs above the bridge at Simonbourn.

4. Millepores, in a brown limestone from the neighbourhood of Aldstone.

5. Vertebral columns of the cap encrinite. Parkinson, vol. 2. tab. 8. fig. 4.; from the same rock and locality as 2.

6. Bivalve shells from the same rock and locality as 2.

7. Pectinite and large ostreæ. In the cockleshell limestone, and in the blue limestone quarried at Newton-Hall near to Corbridge.

In the shale.

1. Calcareous casts of the vertebral columns of the cap encrinite; (St. Cuthbert's beads) Parkinson, vol. 2. tab. 8. fig. 4. In Allendale, Weardale, &c. On the banks of the Greta, and in a stratum above Tecket water-fall near Simonbourn: also on the shores of Holy Island.

2. Impressions of pectinites about 1 inch in diameter: Aldstone moor.

3. At Hairshaw and at other places on the North Tyne the shale contains nodules of clay ironstone, and small muscle shells filled with the same ore.

In the sandstone.

1. Impressions of pectinites on hard slaty sandstone (hazle) in Allendale.

2. Impressions of Arcæ and Anomiæ. Sowerby, t. 35. On ferruginous sandstone from Allendale and Teesdale.

3. Impressions of Euphorbiæ on Freestone from Aldstone and Teesdale. Sowerby, t. 39 & 40. Parkinson, vol. 1. tab. 3. fig. 1.

Basalt occurs in the mining field either between the regular sills, when it is considered as one of them, or, as it should seem, in overlying positions. The great whin sill in the lead mine sections does not consist of the whin of the colliery sinkers, but is really a basalt, coarse-grained in texture, and composed of white felspar and black hornblende, the latter mineral predominating, and giving to the rock a dark greenish grey colour. This bed is placed in the section at Aldstone at the depth of 159 fathoms, and at Dufton is considered as forming the uppermost stratum; the miners indeed regard all the beds of basalt which occur in the mountainous district as ramifications from the great whin sill; but I do not think it certain that there exists this connexion between the beds of basalt found at the two above mentioned places. The thickness of the whin sill is very irregular, being only 6 fathoms in some places and 20 or even 30 at others. In point of situation it agrees remarkably well with the toadstone of Derbyshire.

By far the greatest assemblage o£ basaltic rocks in this part of the district is met with in Teesdale from the source of the Tees to Eglestone. At Caldron snout, situated on the moors 10 miles above Middleton, a basaltic ridge crosses the river, and occasions a succession of cascades for the space of 596 yards, which form a fine contrast with the pool of still water or wheel above the falls. It was here immediately under the basalt that the Rev. J. Harriman discovered small white garnets ? crystallized in dodecahedron's, and imbedded in a thin stratum of pale red hornstone or chert with particles of calcareous spar. Vide Sowerby, tab. 120.

Near the steep acclivity which terminates Cronkley Fell, another range of basalt interrupts the course of the Tees, and causes the cataract called the High or Mickle force, where the water is precipitated from the height of 56 feet. The rock which here crosses the river is apparently an overlying mass of coarse-grained grey basalt, the hornblende and the felspar which compose it not being intimately blended. It rests upon the lead-mine sills, and shoots on the banks of the Tees into regular columns of considerable magnitude and elevation. A few miles below this cascade, and about three above Middleton, perpendicular basaltic rocks again form the banks of the river. To these, iron chains have been fastened for supporting Winch bridge. This remarkable structure (if it can be so called) is a plank 2 feet in breath with low hand rails, suspended 56 feet above the Tees, which is here 63 feet wide. Some miners contrived it for the purpose of passing from the county of Durham to Holwick in Yorkshire.

In the fragments of basalt which are found scattered over the surface in Teesdale, and in other parts of the district, small grains of yellow olivine and of greenish black augite are found imbedded.

Leaving the mining field at Temming on the borders of Cumberland, and at Stagshaw bank near to Fallowfield the basalt appears to fill dykes; but in the range of hills between these places it seems to form overlying masses.

In such overlying masses it bounds the lake of Shewingshields, and the rock on its northern acclivity which is nearly perpendicular assumes a columnar shape. The Romans constructed their wall for many miles close to the edge of this natural rampart; it may be seen at this day standing 4 feet high in many places. In the interstices of the basalt I have noticed ironclay of a brick-red colour, and at Glenwhelt Mr. Fryer detected small veins of dark leek-green talc in thin leaves mixed with iron pyrites and calcareous spar. This fossil on being exposed to the action of the blow-pipe divided into extremely thin folia, and changed from green to copper colour with the addition of borax it melted into a greenish black bead.

These overlying masses of basalt appear also at Barwesford on the North Tyne, and are continued to the vicinity of Thockrington and Bavington, to Kirk Welphington, and thence in a north-easterly direction as far as Causway-park, north of Morpeth.

Proceeding further to the north, basaltic eminences form a striking feature in the country between Alnwick and Berwick. These eminences have frequently been chosen for the sites of castles, as at Dunstanborough, Bamborough, and Holy Island. The hills near Belford, the rocks called the Staples which emerge from the sea at the distance of six miles east of Bamborough, and the Fern Islands situated half way between the Staples and the shore, are likewise composed of basalt.

At Craster near Howick, where the millstone grit is also found, basalt was formerly quarried and shipped to London for paving-stones. Craster house is fronted with this rock.

In the north-eastern face of the cliff, on which the ancient fortress of Dunstanborough stands, the following series of strata is exposed to view:

Columnar basalt from 8 to 10 feet
Sandstone 2 ───
Shale 6 ───

At Bamborough 9 miles north-north-west of Dunstanborough, a well was sunk in the Castle hall to the depth of 150 feet, by which it was ascertained that the overlying rock of basalt was 75 feet thick, and rested upon a fine grained red and white sandstone, parts of which fell into small round fragments on being immersed in water.

In the Heugh, the promontory on which Holy Island Castle is built so as to command the harbour, the basalt seems also to rest on a soft fine grained sandstone; on the east side of the island the sea has scooped deep caverns in the latter rock; trials have there been made for coal, and small quantities of galena have been discovered, as I have before mentioned.

Basaltic dykes, which occur in the Coalfield, are also found intersecting the lead mine measures, instances of which may be seen on Aldstone moor, in Allendale, and in Weardale. A well defined dyke may be seen a little above South-Tyne-head smelting-house, traversing the Tyne bottom limestone without altering its level. The dyke is there 36 or 37 feet wide, and is by many thought to be the same that crosses the Allen close to the bridge at Whitfield and the Wear at Burtree-ford still further to the south. This basalt is of a coarse grained texture and greenish black colour. At Egglestone three miles below Middleton a very strong vein of basalt may be seen crossing the Tees in a diagonal direction; and the mountainous moors in the upper part of the vale are covered with fragments and immense blocks of this species of rock for the distance of many miles.

I have already mentioned that the basalt appears to fill dykes at Stagshaw bank and at Jemming. Further to the north, in the village of Embleton, not far from Dunstanborougb, an extensive quarry is worked in a basaltic dyke. The course of the vein is north and south, about a mile to the west of the craggy ridge on the sea coast, and between them fine grained sandstone is the predominant rock. The basalt at Embleton is black and coarse grained, and it breaks into angular masses. The latter circumstance renders it useful for the construction of walls and houses, and for the lining of limekilns; though it is commonly quarried for mending roads.[63]

In the crevices by the sides of basaltic veins strings of lead ore are frequently observed, but these are never known to pass through the dykes.

The fissures which contain lead ore in the mining district are exactly similar to those described by Williams in his Mineral kingdom. Such as range from north to south are called cross veins, or (occasionally) dykes; they are generally of great magnitude, and seldom carry ore; the most valuable mineral depositories are fissures from 3 to 6 feet wide, running for the most part from south-east to north-west, and cutting the cross veins; the cross veins being frequently rendered productive to some distance from the points of intersection.

The same vein is productive in different degrees at different depths according to the bed which it traverses. Generally speaking veins are most productive between the grindstone sill and the four-fathom limestone; none have been worked in Aldstone moor below the level of the Tyne bottom limestone; but the Dufton mines are situated in the lower beds, though none are worked in the Melmerby scar limestone.

The limestones are the chief depositories of ore, particularly that called the great limestone, which is considered to have produced as much lead as all the other sills together. Next to the limestones the strata of sandstone called hazles are the most productive of ore; but the lead-bearing veins appear compressed between these hard sills. In Arkendale the sills of chert yield considerable quantities of galena, but this rock does not occur in the mining field further north. In Shale the veins are comparatively barren, and in traversing these soft strata weak veins hade considerably.

The hade of the veins is variable in degree, and in direction. When the veins in Weardale point east and west, they hade towards the south; but in Allendale and in the Aldstone moor country they generally hade towards the north: the strata are universally elevated on the side towards which the veins dip.

Veins, that are otherwise favourably circumstanced for producing ore, are more particularly so if the throw or alteration in the level of the beds of limestone, occasioned by the vein, does not exceed 1 or 2 fathoms; for then both cheeks of the vein correspond in their nature, and limestone does not become opposed to shale or other barren stratum.

The following are some of the most remarkable veins in the mining district.

At Burtree—ford, where an alpine brook first assumes the name of the river Wear, a very strong vein, called the Burtree-ford dyke, crosses the mining field from north to south, and passing on the west side of Allenbeads cuts off or at least terminates all the valuable veins discovered in that mine. This must not be confounded with the basaltic dyke which passes the river at Burtree a little above the cross-vein. In some situations this fissure appears to elevate the strata above 80 fathoms on the eastern side, and in others greatly to depress them, as may be observed at the quarries in the great limestone not far from Allenheads. Contiguous to the dyke the sills rise at an angle of 45°. Practical miners have remarked that the veinstones on the east side of this fissure are soft, consisting of calcareous and fluor spars, as is the case in all the Weardale mines; but that on the west side, as at Coal cleugh, Kilhope, Aldstone, and in Teesdale, the matrix is hard, being composed of quartz, heavy spar, and pearl spar, together with much black jack or blende. This observation however cannot apply to the veins on the Derwent towards the east, or to those on Cross Fell towards the west; for in the former quartz passing into chalcedony is the most common matrix; and in the latter amorphous fluor prevails. Disintegrated fluor was the most common vein stone at Breckensyke mine, situated on the south bank of the Wear between 1 and 2 miles below Burtree-ford, which in 1803, when I visited it, produced more ore than any other in the district.

About 2 miles west of Burtree-ford dyke, Whetstone-mea vein crosses the mining field from south-east to north-west, and passes by Coal cleugh and Kilhope. Its north-eastern side is thrown up.

At Coal cleugh and Rampsgill, Bainder end vein is met with passing from north to south. The throw occasioned by this vein is 1 yard on the west side. At Coal cleugh Moss cross vein and Handsome-mea vein have been worked. The bearing of the first is north and south, and it is an upcast to the east of 6 fathoms. The second runs south-east and north-west, and throws up the sills 18 or 14 fathoms on the north-eastern side.

On Aldstone moor the wide open vein called White-heaps, from containing large quantities of spar, was formerly worked, but like most broad fissures proved unproductive, and has long since been abandoned. Little alteration was occasioned in the level of the strata by this vein, the range of which was south-east and north-west. Linn bank cross-vein, which passes from north to south, intersects it.

The strongest vein in Aldstone mining field is old Carr's cross vein; its direction is north and south, and the sills are from 50 to 100 fathoms higher on the western than on the eastern side of it. Half a mile west of old Carr's, Black-Esk-gill vein is met with. In Nent head and Dowgang mines its course is north and south, and its throw 6 fathoms upon the eastern side.

The vein, called the Devil's-back-bone, is a dyke of considerable magnitude. At Newstones and in many other places on Aldstone moor, it may be traced on the surface by the rider or mass of vein stone protruding above the adjoining strata, the latter seeming to have been decomposed and washed away from each side of it. It ranges from south-east to north-west, and the sills towards the south-west are elevated 20 fathoms.

In Cross-gill burn on Aldstone moor small quantities of copper pyrites mixed with galena and iron pyrites have been obtained; but not in sufficient abundance to induce the miners to prosecute the undertaking.

A few years since a valuable vein was discovered near the top of Cross Fell, bearing ore in the rock immediately below the soil; its throw is about 1 fathom on the north side.

On Muggleswick moors near Hely-field, which is about 27 miles from the eastern coast, and at Blanchland on the Derwent, the mines first become of importance, and continue to be so to the very summit of Cross Fell. The mining field is here about 24 miles in breadth, and its length from the South Tyne to the extremity of Derbyshire may be estimated at 160. Veins containing galena, seem, however, in a certain degree to pervade the whole of this formation in the northern part of Northumberland. Thus one or more veins have been worked for several years near Fallowfield 30 miles west of Tynemouth. A small mine was lately carried on at Thockrington, and at Welphington in the same neighbourhood, 90 miles west of the sea at Camboes. Strings of ore have also been discovered on the coast of Northumberland at Ellwick nearly opposite to Holy Island, and on the eastern side of the island itself: but all undertakings begun in a flat country must be insignificant when compared with those in a mountainous district, where the mines are won by levels or drifts, which not only free the works from water, but are the means of discovering numerous rich veins by passing through them in their course.

The veins bearing lead-ore on the hills near Shieldon and Blanchland, are reported to have attracted the notice of miners at a remote period, and that part of their wealth, which lay near the surface, has been long since removed. Within these few years an attempt has been made on a great scale to win the ore supposed to lie below the level of the Derwent, by drawing the water from a considerable depth by powerful steam engines; but it is said that as yet the metal obtained repays but a small part of the annual cost of the undertaking.

In this dale the veins appear wide and open upwards, allowing water to percolate through them from the surface. In Allenheads mine, though the shaft is about 100 fathoms deep, the quantity of water is so inconsiderable, that a set of water wheels, three in number, are sufficient to raise it from the greatest depth of the workings, and to discharge it at a drift.[64]

Galena is the only lead ore procured in abundance from the veins of this formation; but the white and steel grained ore are occasionally discovered. Silver is contained in the ore in different. proportions, varying from 2 to 42 ounces in the fother of 21 cwts.; but 12 ounces may be considered as the general average. If 7 or 8 ounces can be extracted the lead is worth refining; though this must in some measure depend on the prices of silver and of refined lead when compared with that of common lead.[65] If the galena is good in quality 4 bings or 32 cwts. of clean ore will yield 20 cwts. of lead; but 4 bings or 34 cwts. are generally required to produce that weight of metal.

The following is the quantity of lead shipped at the port of Newcastle; average for 6 years previous to

1776 per annum 7072 tons.
In 1804 10352
1805 9162
1806 3911
1807 6809
1808 8155
1809 4972 = 71041 pieces
1810 5670
1811 4553 = 68940.
1813 = 97940

The quantity shipped from Stockton is on an average about 3000 tons per annum. The whole of the lead mines in Great Britain are estimated to produce from 46000 to 48000 tons per annum.

The minerals which occur in the veins of the lead-mine district are the following.

Ores of Lead.

Crystallized in cubes, or with all the angles or edges of the cube truncated or bevelled in various degrees, or in octohedrons.
Occurs in cavities with fluor, and calcareous spar, pearl spar, quartz, sulphate and carbonate of barytes, iron pyrites, sparry iron ore, blende, calamine, &c.
Crystallized in 14-sided figures, imbedded in soft brown marly clay like umber, which effervesces with acids: from Kilhope mine at the head of Wesrdale.
Reticulated ore from Allenheads and Aldstone moor.
Steel grained ore from the Teesdale, Weardele, Allendale, and Aldstone mines.
Specular ore or slickensides in a matrix of calcareous spar; from Allenheads.
Antimonatied Lead ore.─From Dufton mines.
Lead Ore with excess of Sulphur.─This ore is earthy, of a bluish grey colour, and so highly inflammable as to take tire and burn on being held in the flame of a candle. From Dufton mines.
Carbonate of Lead.─Massive. Colour grey. Lustre adamantine. From Flow-edge mine Aldstone.
In 4-sided tabular crystals, bevelled on the terminal planes: lustre adamantine. From Allenheads and Aldatone moor.
In aggregated acicular crystals; opake; lustre silvery. From Allenheads and Aldstone moor.
Larger crystals of the same form: lustre adamantine. From the Teesdale mines.
Black acicular crystals; Fair hill, Flow-edge.
Capillary crystals; lustre silvery. On iron-stone. From Allenheads and Teesdale.
Phosphate of Lead.—Botryoidal, of a pale dirty green colour. Grass hill, Teesdale.
Of a siskin green colour, crystallized in small 6-sided prisms, terminated by 6 planed acuminations, forming clusters in light yellowish brown marly earth: from Surside mines, Netherdale, Yorkshire. This ore yields 60 per cent. of lead, and makes a beautiful green pigment.

The following ores of lead also occur; green, yellow, and white lead ore investing galena, from Allenheads and Aldstone moor: coherent earthy lead ore of a dirty white colour, without lustre, worked in considerable quantity at Grassfield mine near Nent head: lead ore of a whitish grey colour, resembling scales of mica, the white sill of the miners, from Allenheads, &c.: friable earthy lead ore of a dark reddish-brown colour, from Aldstone moor, &c.

Ores of Cooper.

Copper pyrites with galena from Cross gill, Aldstone moor.
Azure Copper ore.—In very small nodules imbedded in opake white heavy spar; found in small quantities at Wessinghope lead mine near Stanhope in Weardale in the great limestone.
Malachite.—Small quantities occur in the Dufton lead mine.

Ores of Iron.

Iron Pyrites.—Massive and Crystallized.
Carbonate of Iron.—Pearlspar; massive, mammellated, and in small lenticular crystals, yellowish white, light and dark brown, and black from decomposition; too common in all the mines.

Ores of Zinc.
Blende.—Black and brown, amorphous and crystallized; in all the mines.
Reddish brown, in small crystals, scattered over quartz and fluor spar, and in minute crystals upon stalactitical brown quartz; from Aldstone moor.
Blood-red irregular crystals on limestone, with crystals of purple gluor; from Aldstone moor.
Calamine is worked in old Hagg's cross vein near Nent head. One variety is of a yellowish grey colour; conchoidal in fracture, and in a slight degree transparent: another is snow white and perfectly opake.
Ore of Zinc.—In thin white opake layers or incrustations from Allenheads.

Salts of Lime.
Carbonate of Lime. Calcareour Spar.—In acute and obtuse pyramids, (the dog tooth and nail head spar) from Aldstone moor.
In dodecahedron's on pearl spar (Sowerby, t. 42) from Aldstone.
In 6-sided highly transparent prisms terminated by 6-sided pyramids, called Tyne bottom spar; from the Tyne bottom limestone on Aldstone moor.
In pale straw coloured 3-sided pyramids. This delicate fossil has been observed in a vein opposite New-house in Weardale.
Fibrous, of a pale pea-green colour, without the pearly lustre of satin-spar; from Arhendale mines.
Forming stalactites and stalagmites in all the mines: coating detached crystals of fluor from Allenheads.
Large quantities of calcareous spar in a state of disintegration, the fragments resembling bay-salt in size and colour may be observed on the top of Cronkley Fell.
Carbonate of Lime. Arragonite.—Flos-ferri. Beautiful specimens of this rare mineral of a snow-white colour and satin-like lustre have been found in Dufton mines.
Fluate of Lime.—Earthy, from Breckensyke mine, where the galena is also found partially decomposed.
In white, topaz and wine yellow, bluish emerald green, and most commonly in violet or purple crystals, having the form of the cube, the cube with its angles truncated, with its angles acuminated by 3 planes set on the lateral planes; also in tabular and in 24-sided crystals. From Aldstone, Allenheads, &c.
In small purple cubic crystals, bevelled on the edges, attached to sandstone; from a mine near New house in Weardale.
In cubic crystals of a bright emerald green colour, containing drops of water; from the Weardale mines.
In a state of decomposition, coated by crystallized quartz purple or blackish in colour, and sometimes appearing as if it had been in a state of fusion; from Coal cleugh and Aldstone mines.
Sulphate of Lime. Selenite.—In 6-sided prismatic crystals terminated by convex planes (Jameson, vol. i. p. 568) on pearl-spar in a state of disintegration; from Aldstone mines.
In slender detached 6-sided prisms, beautifully transparent, often tinged in the central part with a rich orange-red colour; from Aldstone mines. Mr. Joseph Fryer.

Salts of Barytes.

Carbonate of Barytes. Witherite.—In irregular stalactitical minute crystals, opake and white; from Aldstone mines.
In dodecahedral crystals formed of two hexahedral pyramids (Sowerby, tab. 127,) of a pale wine-yellow colour; from Arkendale mines.
In elongated hexahedral pyramids or spicula: (Sowerby, tab. 129,) of a chalky white colour; from Arkendale mines. Massive, of a wine yellow colour; from Arkendale.
Incrusting fragments of galena, blende, and limestone; white and opake; from Aldstone moor.
Forming crystallized balls of a dirty white colour, and striated fracture, radiating from a center.
In irregular 6·sided prisms without pyramids, and perfectly transparent, occurring occasionally in the center of the, balls above mentioned; from the Welhope mines in the great limestone, where the veins in the upper sills bear heavy spar.
Of a clove brown colour and striated texture, attached to galena. From Dufton mines.
Though witherite is the common matrix to lead ore in Arkendale, it occurs only rarely further to the north.
Sulphate of Barytes. Heavy spar.—Foliatce, Cawk of the miners; greyish white, opake; from Aldstone moor.
In lenticular crystals (Jameson, vol. i. p. 558), cockscomb spar; from Dukesfield and Aldstone moor.
In small lancet-shaped crystals, opake and white, occasionally aggregated into a cellular mass; from Arkendale.
In transparent tabular bevelled crystals. Those from Dufton are very fine.
Of a milk white colour, not bevelled, set edgewise on quartz, blende, and galena; from Aldstone.
In 4-sided transparent prismatic crystals, acuminated by 2 planes set on the lateral planes; from a vein at Dukesfield.

A curious mineral is found in some of the Aldstone moor veins. It consists chiefly of indurated clay with a mixture of iron; is of a smoke-grey colour, very hard and sonorous, and is intersected by deep impressions of tabular crystals of heavy spar, which have in some unknown manner been decomposed.

Earthy Minerals.
Quartz.─Is found crystallized in 6-sided pyramids in most of the mines.
Asbetus.—Of a leek green colour, has been observed by Mr. Bigge in Melmerby scar, forming veins in a hard reddish brown rock resembling basalt, but not magnetic.

I am not informed of more than six mineral springs in the district of the lead-mine measures, and of these only two have attained any degree of celebrity. These are the springs of Gilsland and Wardrew, which were analyzed in 1799 by the late Dr. Garnet. The sulphuretted water issues from a thick bed comprising 3 distinct strata of shale, which is covered by several measures of sandstone, forming together a perpendicular cliff about 90 feet in height on the north bank of the little river Irthing. Two gallons and a half of water flow from the rock in an minute; it is perfectly limpid, and on being boiled loses the odour of sulphur.

The contents in a wine-gallon are

Muriate of soda 4 grains.
Sulphuretted hydrogene gas 17 cubic inches.
Azote gas 4
Carbonic acid gas 4

Near the inn called the Shawn at the same place a spring of chalybeate water rises to the day, of which the analysis, according to Dr. Garnet, is as fellows.

Contents in a wine-gallon Iron 2.5 grains
Muriate of soda 8.
Carbonic acid gas 14 cubic inches.
Azotic gas 5

On a moor a few miles distant from the same place another water strongly impregnated with mineral ingredients is met with. It is of a deep wine colour, and nauseous to the taste like ink; it appears to contain sulphate of iron and sulphate of alumina in large proportions.

Near Turret Burn, which runs into the North Tyne in the north-western part of Northumberland, a sulphuretted and a chalybeate spring were both detected bubbling up from under a peat moss by Mr. Joseph Fryer.

At Dukesfield, towards the south-west, a spring of limpid water holding sulphuretted hydrogene in solution has long been known, and another of the same description issues from the rocks in the bed of the Tees on the north side of the river about 9 miles above Barnaud Castle.

The Beds on the banks of the Tweed.

The beds which are found on the banks of the Tweed, from Dryburg towards the east, differ so much from the usual measures of the Lead-mine district, that I have given the account of them under a separate section. This part of the country has been explored for coal by Mr. Buddle, and it is chiefly from his pamphlet that I have derived the following information.

In the vicinity of Wark, 15 miles south-west of Tweedmouth, the beds consist of marl, micaceous sandstone, and slate-clay; and about a quarter of a mile below Coldstream, in the north bank of the river, the strata are

1. Soil, light and sandy 15
2. Ditto, gravelly 15
3. Coarse grained yellowish white micaceous sandstone 18
4. Micaceous sandstone alternating with slate clay to the level of the Tweed.

These measures dip to the east at an angle of 5 or 6 degrees.

At Lenel quarry, half a mile below Coldstream on the northern bank of the Tweed, the strata are,

1. Light soil 15
2. Soft sandstone and marl 4
3. Sandstone resembling that in the last section 24
4. Slate clay.

At Bingham or Spring-Hill, north of the Tweed, the following is the order of the strata.

1. Light sandy soil.
2. Blue marl inclining to a greenish colour.
3. Blue limestone.
4. Marl of slaty texture.
5. Limestone.
6. Slate clay.

These strata appear to alternate to a great depth; they lie horizontally, and seem to run through the whole extent of the hills The stratification in the west side of the hill is nearly the same as the above, but in the upper stratum of slate-clay nodules of reddish gypsum are intermixed, and in the lower gypsum is disposed in thin irregular strata of amorphous fracture.

The nodules of gypsum contain numerous dark reddish brown crystals of selenite. Similar nodules are also found in the hillook on which Kelso is built, imbedded in blue shale. The marl of Roxburghshire, when dry, is of a dirty blueish white colour, containing small bivalve shells.

In Mellendean burn the strata, particularly on the eastern side, are exposed to the depth of 60 or 70 feet, and consist of

1. Gravelly soil,
2. Marl,
3. Blue and brown slate-clay, alternating with limestone, which contains a large proportion of sand.

Two hundred yards further up the burn, the strata in its bottom consist of very hard bastard limestone, that is, limestone containing a large proportion of sand. The beds lie horizontally. The uppermost stratum in the bank near the entrance of the Dean is composed of amygdaloid. Wacké, and amygdaloid with a basis of wacké are not uncommon in the valley of the Tweed, where they appear to occur between beds of sandstone, as may be seen at Sprouston Ferry, at the Rapids about 3 miles above Kelso, and at a fall of the, river Tiviot about a mile above the same town.

The covering of Sprouston quarry is of the same kind of sandy and gravelly soil, as generally covers the vale of the Tweed. The sandstone rock of the quarry appears to be of limited extent, and of an irregular oval form, being about 300 yards long and 200 yards broad, and cropping out on every side. It is of a blueish white colour, and close texture, well calculated for building, the best part being about 20 feet thick; but it contains in some parts nodules of a black argillaceous earth scattered through it. It is in some parts soft and slaty, with coaly matter interposed between the laminæ. Near the bottom of the quarry large irregular masses of very hard calcareous sandstone occur. Three veins pass through this quarry in a north and south direction. For the particulars respecting a vein of coal given to Mr. Buddle by the manager of the quarry, I refer to Mr. Buddle's pamphlet.

This sandstone seems to belong to a detached mass of rock, which reposes on the same kind of strata as are found in Mellendean burn; and this opinion is confirmed by the following section of a boring lately made in the eastern side of the quarry. Boring in the East part of Sprouston Quarry.

Fs. Ft. In. Fs. Ft. In.
Bad freestone 2 Brought up 10 2
Dent 4 Strong black dent 1
Whin 1 Hardstone 4
Blue dent 1 3 Blue freestone 1 2
Hard limestone 1 Hard whin 3
Strong brown clay 4 Black dent 5
Blue dent 1 3 Whin and dent alternating the strata about 3 or 4 inch thick 2
Very hard whin 1 6 Hard freestone 2 1
Brown dent 1 Stone extraordinarily hard 1 3
Hard whin 3 Left off in very hard brown stone, and from its weight supposed to contain ironstone 4
Freestone 2
Clay mixed with dark blue dent 4
Blue dent 5 6
Blue freestone 4 ───────
Strong blue dent mixed with iron ore 1 Fathoms 21
Carried up 10 2

The quarry of Stodridge situated in the Roxburgh estate of Fleurs, is very similar to that of Sprouston.

In the vicinity of Ford castle, neat the fort of the Flodden hills, a stratum of grey or greyish white arenaceous limestone bassets out. This rock is very much like a fine-grained sandstone, and contains so large a portion of silex and clay as to be scarcely worth burning for manure. It would be called a bastard limestone. This bed appears to be one of the lowest in the series to which the metalliferous limestones belong; it occurs in the north-western part of the district, and is not uncommon in Roxburghshire, lying very near the red sandstone.

Porphyritic Formations of the Cheviot Hills.

A considerable tract of the north-west of Northumberland is occupied by the Cheviot hills, which rising from below the stratified country of the Lead-mine measures, stretch westward into Roxburghshire. The higher parts of these mountains being covered with peat moss, and their lower acclivities with alluvial soil, it is not easy to trace the exact line of separation between the porphyritic rocks, of which they consist, and the Lead-mine measures. It has been seen however that to the north the porphyritic rocks do not descend to the banks of the Tweed; to the south-west, limestone is quarried on the sides of Carter Fell, and a small colliery is worked at Kedderbum in the same neighbourhood. Towards the south, porphyry is seen on the banks of the Coquet at Linn-bridge, a mile and a half south of which, on the hill at Woolcoats, several coal pits are worked. For the other boundaries of this range I must refer to the map.

Cheviot, which gives its name to the whole group, is a huge round topped mountain, rising 2642[66] feet above the level of the sea. It is situated in 55° 32′ N. latitude, and is distant from the coast at Beadnel 19 miles. It commands a noble prospect over the surrounding country, and presents a conspicuous sea-mark to vessels coming across the German ocean. Hedgehope and Harthope are subordinate mountains, and the Flodden Hills on the north-eastern side are a still lower group. The latter descend gradually to Millfield plain, where the primary formation terminates in that direction.

At the foot of the ridge, in some places the usual attendants of primary mountains, the red sandstone and the greywacké slate, are found rising to the day. The former, which bassets out in Roddam Dean, approaches to a conglomerate; the latter, which appears on both sides of Markington burn, is fine grained in structure; but the slates there quarried do not stand the action of the air, The blocks of stone on the summit of Cheviot consist of flesh-coloured felspar porphyry enclosing crystals of reddish white felspar and occasionally minute crystals of hornblende, resembling in this respect the porphyry of Inverary mentioned by Dr. Garnet and St. Fond. Among the rude masses and blocks which lie scattered by the sides of the Wooler-water, porphyry slate, claystone porphyry, porphyritic syenite, granitic syenite, basalt, and coarse red jasper may be recognised, and the Coquet, Aln, Bremish, and Glen abound with agates.

One of the beds which produce the latter mineral is a reddish brown amygdaloid with a basis of wacké, the geodes of which are coated, as usual, with green earth. This rock may be observed in situ on the banks of the Coquet a little above Linn-bridge.

Hornblende rock is by no means uncommon among these hills Housy crag, which rises above the farm house near Langley ford, in the valley between Hedgehope and Cheviot, is composed of a coarse grained variety of this rock, closely allied to the porphyry, and the perpendicular cliffs of Hellhole on the opposite side of the Cheviot consist also of the same rock.

The only metallic ores known to exist in this district are, bog iron-ore, which is found in the bottoms of morasses, and red ochre with nodules of hematite from a small vein traversing the rocks above Langley-ford. The shepherds use the latter for marking their sheep.

Alluvial matter found on the surface of the preceding formations.

Blocks or detached masses of different rocks are found scattered over the surface of all the preceding formations and imbedded in the soil.

Masses of blue coralloid limestone, the produce of the lead-mine district, are found at the surface at Cullercoats above the magnesian limestone. Similar blocks are found dispersed over the other formations.

Masses of close-grained sandstone occur every where in like manner.

Masses of hard black basalt are found every where in abundance. From this stone the ancient inhabitants of Britain formed the heads of their battle-axes, which the people call Celts. They resemble in shape the tomahawks brought from the South Sea islands. Barbed arrow heads, neatly finished, and made of pale-coloured flint, are frequently picked up on the moors, and are called elf-bolts.

Masses of porphyry, resembling that of Cheviot, and of the Cumberland mountains, and of green basaltic porphyry are common. The base of the latter is of a greenish black colour, and contains large crystals of greenish white felspar. Blocks of it are found in the bed of the Deals water at Dilston near to Hexham.

Blocks of porphyry slate are found on the banks of the Tyne near to Horsley, and masses of the same rock, including small red garnets, in the bed of the Deals water.

Masses of fine-grained granite appear on the surface over the whole country. Those from the banks of the Tees and other parts of the south of Durham consist of small grains of white quartz, black mica, and flesh-coloured felspar.

Considerable quantities of marl have been discovered on the west side of the river Till in situations which seem to have been the bottoms of lakes; and in this alluvial matter horns of some species of bos and cervus are found imbedded. The marl is of a light grey colour, and contains bivalve and univalve shells which retain their pearly lustre. This substance has been noticed at Wark, Sunnylaws, Learmouth, Mindrum, the Hagg, the Hopper, and at several other places in that neighbourhood. It probably rests in some places on the beds that I have described as prevailing on the banks of the Tweed, and at others on porphyry or grey-wacké.


[The following passage should have appeared in the paper after the account. of the Walker dyke at page 22.]

The next basaltic dyke worthy of notice is one which, passing from west to east under Tynemouth Priory may be seen to divide the strata at the south-east point of Prior's haven, where it forms a wall 12 feet broad in the cliff and in the rocks below. A vein or fissure 12 inches in breadth and filled with tufaceous matter intersects the dyke from top to bottom near its center, and the basalt strongly resembles the Coley Hill stone.


Sections of the Strata at Dinsdale, situated on the North Bank of the Tees, 3 miles east-north-east of Croft Bridge.

No. I.
Fs. Ft. In.
Clay 4 1 6
Blue stone-clay with whin tumblers 3
Blue sand 2 6
Blue stone-clay 5 6
Foul Coal 6
Brown sand 2 3
Foul Coal 5
Blue sand with water 4
Stone-clay with large whin tumblers 3
Red stone 2
Fathoms 10
No. 2.
Near the Fishery, 180 yards from the Garden House.
Fs. Ft. In.
This account begins at 56 1
Red stone and white post, and post girdles with water 1 5
Red metal stone with blue and white scars 3 1 6
Reddish post, and scars of blue and white leek chalk of alabaster 3 5 6
[67]Chalk of alabaster 3
Strong limestone of a limestone nature
Fathoms 65 5 7
No. 3.
Fs. Ft. In.
Soil and clay 2 6
Darkish stone-clay with tumblers 3 2 9
Red metal stone with grey post girdles 8
Red stone and white chalk lumps 2
Fathoms 15 3 3

Fs. Ft. In.
Soil and brown sandy clay 3 6
Gravel and sand 1 4
Stony clay 1 5
Brown sand and scars of Coal 4
Leafy clay and sand 1
Blue stony clay and beds of sand 2 4 8
Brown sand 1 3
Coal and scars of sand 1 9
Brown sand with scars of Coal 1 6
Darkish heavy clay 2 3 6
Darkish stone clay and sand with scars of Coal 3 4 9
Red sandstone with scars 5
Fathoms 16 2
Fs. Ft. In.
Soil and brown clay 4
Darkish stony clay with whin tumblers 3 2 9
Red metal stone with grey girdles 8
Red stone with white girdles 5 1 3
[68]Chalk with white flinty lumps 1 1
Blue whi with water like the Harrowgate spa 19 2 6 1 6
Strong white post with whin girdles 1 6
Bastard whin 2
Strong white post with whin girdles 6 6
Blue grey metal stone with white scars 1 2
[69]Chalk (called in another boring alabaster) 2 6
Soft red stone 1
Red and white Post 3 1
White post with red scars 3
Red, white and grey post, with partings of red metal 4 3
Soft blue grey metal 4
Grey and white post 5 3
Strong blue-grey stone 5
Strong white and grey stone 10
Whin 3
Mixture whin 1 3
Strong white post, supposed to be of a limestone nature, and whin girdles 13 1 4
Here the undertaking was abandoned. ──────
Fathoms 74 1 4


Vend of Coals from the Port of Newcastle.

Shipped of Newcastle Chaldrons
Year Coastways Oversea Total
1772 ....... ....... 351,890
1776 ....... ....... 380,000
1791 404,367 45,702 450,069
1792 456,106 42,993 499,099
1793 465,549 34,105 49,654
1794 387,460 40,461 427,921
1795 463,496 40,342 503,838
1796 438,777 42,778 471,555
1797 459,166 38,149 497,315
1798 394,369 44,722 439,091
1799 447,819 43,366 491,185
1800 537,793 47,487 585,280
1801 452,192 50,401 502,593
1802 490,488 44,001 538;489
1803 505,137 44,324 549,461
1804 579,929 52,589 632,518
1805 552,827 49,573 602,400
1806 587,719 46,107 638,826
1807 534,371 27,342 561,713
1808 613,786 15,661 629,447
1809 550,221 14,632 564,853
1810 622,573 19,261 641,834
1811 634,371 18,054 652,325
1812 638,158 24,994 663,151
1813 584,011 14,072 598,773

Vend of Coals from the Port of Sunderland.

Shipped of Newcastle Chaldrons
Year Coastways Oversea Total
1791 246,708 54,150 300,858
1792 256,889 53,313 310,102
1793 255,011 50,064 305,075
1794 243,939 38,885 282,824
1795 282,946 5,884 288,830
1796 249,246 6,293 256,538
1797 279,581 6,434 285,016
1798 274,132 5,111 279,344
1799 298,570 4,039 302,609
..... ........ ....... .......
1806 296,552 2,622 309,174
1807 291,317 4,274 295,174
1808 348,938 2,058 350,996
1809 324,455 973 323,428
1810 371,120 1,889 373,009
1811 331,305 1,729 333,034
1812 ....... ....... 326,865
1813 ....... ....... 330,967

Vend of Coals from Hartley and Blyth Collieries.

Shipped of Newcastle Chaldrons
Year Coastways Oversea Total
1791 39,619 127 39,844
1792 38,440 234 39,844
1793 38,550 48 38,698
1794 37,652 128 37,830
1795 31,494 48 31,542
1796 29,723 542 30,265
1797 39,606 32 39,637
1798 37,833 166 37,999
1799 41,689 127 41,812
..... ........ ...... ........
1809 ...... ...... 48,052
1810 ...... ...... 47,330
1811 ...... ...... 53,958

Coals imported into London.

Of London Chaldrons
From 1776 to 1779 on an average yearly 658,653
1801 862,088
1802 902,224
1803 940,470
1804 947,001
1805 971,270
1806 987,750
1807 933,148
1808 1,088,050
1809 923,440
1810 1,120,237
1811 1,115,171
1812 1,071,361
1813 970,901

50,000 Chaldrons year by the Canal.


Estimate for boring to the depth of one hundred fathoms in the counties of Roxburgh or Berwick, under the usual risks attendant on such operations; by Mr. Buddle in 1807.

Shillings £ s.
Boring 5 fathoms at 6 1 10
5 ditto 12 3 ──
5 ditto 18 4 10
5 ditto 24 6 ──
5 ditto 30 7 10
5 ditto 36 9 ──
5 ditto 42 10 10
5 ditto 48 12 ──
5 ditto 54 13 10
5 ditto 60 15 ──
5 ditto 66 16 10
5 ditto 72 18 ──
5 ditto 78 19 10
5 ditto 84 21 ──
5 ditto 90 22 10
5 ditto 96 24 ──
5 ditto 102 25 10
5 ditto 108 27 ──
5 ditto 114 28 10
5 ditto 120 10 ──
── ditto ──────────
100 315 ──
Carriage of the rods, tagle legs and gin blocks, rope and other apparatus, and fitting the same 100 ──
Sharpening the geer, finding grease, coals, a horse to draw the rods, and sundry other charges daring the boring 200 ──
Accidents in boring 345 ──
Extra expence in boring through Whin 145 ──
£ 1100

Estimates for boring to such great depths cannot in general be offered as accurate, from the stone to be perforated being in some cases so hard as hardly to be bored through at all, and from the great risk of breaking and losing the rods in the hole during the boring.

  1. This paper was read at the meetings of the Society six months before the publication of the sketch of the same district by Dr. Thomson. See Annals of Philosophy, for November and December, 1814
  2. Mr. Peacock of Darlington published the following analysis of this water in pamphlet on the medical virtues of the spring.
    Contentqs in 1 quart Carbonate of Lime Grains 1.2
    Sulphate of Lime 25.
    Carbonic Acid Gas 2
    Sulphuretted Hydnogene, containing 2 grains of Sulphur. 8.32
    Azotic Gas 1.5

    Specific gravity of the water 1.016. Temperature at the well 8° above that of the adjoining springs.

  3. Plate 4, fig. 1.
  4. The exportation of lime from Sunderland is chiefly to Scotland, and amounts to from forty-two to forty-five thousand chaldrons of 36 bushels each, annually.
  5. See Plate 2.
  6. The Ninety-fathom Dyke described hereafter.
  7. See a paper by Dr. Lucas Hodgson, on the Salt sublimed, in the Phil. Tram. No. 130.
  8. Stourbridge clay is imported for the glass-house pots.
  9. Very similar shells are found in the Clackmananshire coal-field at North Alloa, in that of Staffordshire at Tividale, and in the great coal-field of Derbyshire and Yorkshire, where the bed of ironstone that contains them is culled the Muscle band. [Communicated by Mr. Warburton.]
  10. Plate 4, fig. 2.
  11. I have extracted these particulars from a memoir on the Montagu colliery, by Mr. Thomas, of Denton, in which are described the dykes and slips met with in the workings at that mine. I am partly indebted to the same gentleman for the information on the direction of the main dyke.
  12. I am indebted to Mr. Fenwick of Dipton for the information which follows, respecting the other dykes which traverse the Coal-field.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 This Seam is found in Hebburn and Jarrow Collieries.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 This seam is generally found on the south side of the Mann dyke, when the Tyne High main Coal 3 lies at about 111 fathoms from the surface.
  15. The Miner's term to express that the water escapes by percolation.
  16. Sooty.
  17. Kenton Main in the colliery of Kenton.
    Ft. In.
    Good Coal 4 6
    Ditto and band 6
    Good Coal 1 2
    Feet 6 2
  18. I cannot help thinking the identity of the seams of Coal on the south and north side of the dyke very problematical, and have therefore marked those in the north named the Benwell main and Beaumont seam with a note of interrogation.
  19. Commonly called the 70 fathom Post.
  20. Black Stone.
  21. Main Post.
  22. In the middle of the Main Coal seam is a band of 2 inches duck. This band lies only in a particular tract of the mine.
  23. Stone Head
  24. Stone Coal of the Tyne.
  25. Yard Coal of the Tyne, High Main Coal of the Wear.
  26. Supposed to be the Benshaw Seam.
  27. Called on the river Tyne, below Newcastle bridge, the 70 fathom Coal. On the river Wear it is called the Three quarter Coal.
  28. Supposed to be the Three quarter Coal seam divided
  29. Called on the Tyne the 70 fathom Post
  30. Called on the Tyne the Black stone
  31. Bottom part of Black stone.
  32. The Main Post of the Tyne
  33. Supposed to be the Six quarter seam divided.
  34. High Main Coal of the Tyne
  35. Metal Coal seam of the Tyne
  36. Low Main Coal of the Tyne. Hutton's seam of the Wear.
  37. Bandy Coal Seam.
  38. Bandy Coal Seam.
  39. Low Main.
  40. This Seam lies all through Hebburn and Jarrow Collieries, and may also be found in Killingworth section.
  41. Forms the Six Quarter and Five Quarter seams on Sheriff hill, and on the Tyne.
  42. Forms the Metal and Stone Coal seams on Sheriff hill.
  43. The Low main of Sheriff hill and on the Tyne.
  44. Maudlin Seam on the Wear.
  45. The Six quarter and Five quarter Coal Seams form the Low Main Coal on the Wear.
  46. Hutton Seam on the Wear.
  47. This Seam does not extend to the mines on the Wear.
  48. This and the Metal Coal form the Five Quarter Coal on the Wear.
  49. Communicated to the Author by the Rev. W. Turner.
  50. Full of fissures.
  51. the Main post divided
  52. Situation of the Tyne High Main Coal.
  53. Called the Yard Coal on the river Tyne. The Main Coal B is seldom in perfection unless the Main post is also solid and good.
  54. The carbonates, small as is their proportion, are sufficient to make the water appear turbid, when viewed in the large reservoirs at Birtley. They are very readily thrown down by the addition of quick-lime, and this method of purifying the solution is always pursued in that salt-work. The brine leaves no incrustation upon the evaporating pans.
  55. The New castle chaldron = 53 cwts. or of the London chaldron.
  56. It appears from the table given in the Appendix, (No. 2.) that in the year 1813, 970,901 London chaldrons of coal were imported into London. Deducting from these the 50,000 chaldrons brought by canals from the midland counties, there will remain 920.901 London chaldrons = 491,147 Newcastle chaldrons of coal imported by sea into London.
  57. See his Tract on the Coal trade.
  58. Beneath the heaps that have taken fire, a bed of blackish brown scoria is formed, which greatly resembles basalt, and is used for mending the roads.
  59. From Tynemouth to Newcastle 9 miles 9 feet
    From the river Tyne to the west turnpike gate above Newcastle 196
    From the turnpike to Hayden bridge, on the same level 27
    From Hayden bridge to Ridley hall on south Tyne 1 100
    From Ridley hall to Haltwhistle opposite the church 7 60
    From Haltwhistle to Glenwhelt 3 80
    ─── miles ─── feet
    48 miles 445 feet
  60. Height of Cross Fell by geometric measurement 2901 feet
    ─────── Helvellin 3055
    ─────── Skiddaw 3022
    ─────── Saddleback 2787
  61. Containing Pebbles.
  62. See Note, page 33 and 47.
  63. A basaltic dyke has been observed on the coast at Beadnel passing from the south-east to the north-west, of which a description as I understand has already been given to the Society by the Hon. H. G. Bennet. (See the following Paper.)
  64. At Coal-cleugh an hydraulic machine more curious than powerful, but which fully answers the purpose for which it was constructed, is employed to pump up the water. It is situated at the further end of an adit, which serves for a water level drift, as well as for conveying the ore from the mine. A certain quantity of water from a brook on the elevated ground above the mine is made to raise nearly an equal weight from below by making a column of 90 fathom act as a counterpoise to one of 19 fathoms. This engine was constructed about forty years ago by the late Mr. Westgarth, agent to Sir Thomas Blunkett, and the following data taken on the spot will shew its power.
    Column that works the Engine 20 fathoms
    Diameter of the Piston 7 inches
    Length of the Stroke 5 feet
    Diameter of the bucket that lifts the water 6 inches
    Length of the column to be lifted 19 fathoms
    Number of strokes per minute 9 or 10
  65. Price of Common Lead. April 1814. £30 per fother of 21 cwts.
    of Refined lead 31 ditto
    of Fine Silver 7s. 5d. per oz.
    N.B. The fother on the Tyne is 21 cwts. On the Tees 22 cwts.
  66. Leslie's Elements of Geometry, 2d edit.
  67. Gypsum
  68. Probably Gypsum, which is found in the same bed at Newark, and other places in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
  69. Probably Gypsum, which is found in the same bed at Newark, and other places in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.