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  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday 10am - 4pm
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160th anniversary of the Hartley Pit Disaster

16/01/2022

160 years after the Hartley Colliery Disaster

On this day, 160 years ago, the tragic Hartley Pit Disaster was a day that changed mining history.

The Hartley Bunton is arguably one of Woodhorn Museum’s most important objects in the collection; the massive oak bunton which had blocked the pit shaft, retrieved after the disaster in two pieces. Many of you will have never seen the object as it is cared for in special environmentally monitored stores which are not accessible to our visitors.

Museums Northumberland collections Woodhorn Museum Oak beam Hartley disaster

 

The Hartley Colliery disaster (also known as the Hartley Pit disaster or Hester Pit disaster), was a coal mining accident in Northumberland, England, that occurred on 16 January 1862 and resulted in the deaths of 204 men and children. The beam of the pit’s pumping engine broke and fell down the shaft, trapping the men below. The disaster prompted a change in British law that required all collieries to have at least two independent means of escape.

We share the names of the men and boys that lost their lives that day below.

AINSLEY, John LIDDLE, James
ALDERTON, William LIDDLE, William
ALLAN, William LOGAN (LOUGE), William
AMOUR James LONG, John
AMOUR, Richard LONG, Robert
ANDERSON, William MACAULEY, Thomas
ARMSTRONG, John McCLUTCHEY (McCLUSKEY), Richard
ARMSTRONG, Edward McCRACKEN, William
ARMSTRONG, John McFARLANE, William
ATCHISON, Abraham McKEE, John
BANNAN, William (Bann, Barron) McKEE, Adam
BELL, Mark McMULLEN, Robert
BELL, Thomas MANDERSON, Peter (or Mathew)
BELL, Thomas MARLEY, Robert
BENNETT, John MASON, Hugh
BEWICK, James MILLER, Walter
BEWICK, John MILLER, William
BEWICK, Robert MORGAN, Andrew
BIRTLEY, Samuel MULLEN, John
BLACKBURN, Samuel MURRAY, Michael
BROADFOOT, John NESBITT, Peter
BROWN, Thomas NICHOLSON, John
BROWN, Ralph NICHOLSON, Joseph
BROWN, George NICHOLSON, Joshua
BROWN, William NORTH, Robert
BURN, John NORTH, George
BURN, Thomas NORTH, John
CAMPBELL, James NORTH, Alexander
CARLING, George OLIVER, William
CHAMBERS, Thomas OLIVER, John
CHAMBERS, Clark OLIVER, James
CHEETHAM, Alfred OLIVER, William
CLEGHORN, Oswald OLIVER, Peter
CLOUGH(CLEUGH), Henry ORMISTON, John
COIL, John PALMER, William
COLE, Thomas PAPE, William
COULSON, John PEARSON, Thomas
COULSON, Robert RANDAL – see REYNOLDS
COUSINS, John REDPATH, William
COUSINS, Robert REYNOLDS (RANDALL), Robert
CROSS, Philip RICHARDSON, Alexander
CROSS, Philip RILEY, Hugh
DAVIDSON, John ROBINSON, Mathew
DAVIDSON, William George ROBINSON, Thomas
DAWSON, Thomas ROBSON, Ralph
DAWSON, John ROBSON, James
DIXON, Robert ROSS, Thomas
DIXON, William ROWLEY, Edward
DIXON, William RUTHERFORD, John
DOUGLAS, John RUTHERFORD, William
DUFFY, Patrick RUTHERFORD, Thomas
DUFFY, James SCURFIELD, George
ELLIOTT, Allison SEBASTIAN, Thomas
ELLIOTT, Edward SHARP, George
FAIRBAIRN, George SHARP, George
FAIRBAIRN, William SHARP, George
FORD, Henry SHARP, Henry
FORD, John SHARP, Thomas
FORD, Peter SHERLOCK, Patrick
FORSTER, Joseph SKINNER, George
FORSTER, John SMALL, Robert
FULTON, George SMITH, Francis
GALLAGHER, John SMITH, William
GALLAGLIER, Duncan SOFTLEY, Edward
GALLAGHER, James – see TIERNEY, James STAINSBY, Lionel
GIBSON, Henry STANLEY, William
GLEDSON, William TAYLOR, Joseph
GLEDSON. William TELFORD, William
GLEDSON, George TERNENT. John
GLEDSON, Thomas TERNENT, George
GLEDSON, Thomas TERNENT, William
GLEN, James THIRLWELL, George
GLEN William TIBBS, William
GLEN, George TIERNEY (alias GALLAGHER), James
GORMERLY, Patrick TRYER, James
GRAHAM, Christopher VEITCH, John
HALL, George WADE, George
HAMILTON, James (HAMELTON) WALKER, Benjamin
HAMILTON, James (HAMELTON) WALKER James
HAMMEL, Peter WALKER, William
HARDING, John WALPOLE (WALPOOL), Patrick
HARRISON, Thomas WANLESS, Christopher
HAUXWELL, Frank WANLESS, Thomas
HAYS, George WANLESS, John
HEPPLE, Thomas WATSON, James
HILL, George WATSON, Joseph
HILL, Robert WATSON, John
HINDMARSH, George WATSON, Thomas
HODGE. John WATSON, Thomas
HOUSTON, Andrew WEARS, Robert
HOWARD, James WEARS, Thomas
HUMBLE, Joseph WHITE, William
HUMBLE, Peter WILKINSON, John B.
HUNTER, Henry WILSON, George
JACQUES (JACK), Winship WILSON, William
JOHNSON, Joseph WILSON, William
JOHNSON, Robert WYPHER or WYPER, David
KENNEDY, William YOULL, John
LAWS, George YOUNG, John
LAWS, Thomas YOUNGER, Henry
LIDDLE, John
LIDDLE, Thomas
LIDDLE, George
LIDDLE, John
LIDDLE, Thomas
LIDDLE, Thomas
LIDDLE, William

The aftermath of the disaster deeply affected the village of New Hartley, financially and emotionally, as can be seen in the tragic numbers recorded below,

103- Widows

257- Children

27- Sisters, supported by brothers

2-Orphans

16- Parents, supported by sons

1- Grandmother, supported by grandson

407 family members lost their protectors in the unfathomable disaster