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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Durham Collieries

Search the Durham Collieries database for information on collieries in the Durham coalfield, from about 1850 to 1990.

Find colliery locations, mine opening, closure or operating dates and who owned the mines before nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947.

This information has been brought together from a range of sources, including Ordnance Survey maps, directories, official records compiled by H.M. Inspectors of Mines and the Ministry of Fuel, and records of the National Coal Board.

You can find information about some of the miners who worked in these collieries in our Mining Durham's Hidden Depths index.

Browse Durham Collieries

The information can be accessed from alphabetical lists by name or by place/township. It can also be accessed 'by map' using the link in the left hand navigator. If you require any assistance using the 'by map' option please see our help pages.

Browse by Colliery

The names used for collieries in the Durham Collieries information are those used on Ordnance Survey maps.

Where two separate colliery sites on the same Ordnance Survey plan have the same name, each one is given a separate number in square brackets [1]. An example is the two shafts of Cold Knot Colliery.

Click on the colliery name for further information such as:

  • Mine name and location 
  • Date sunk or opened 
  • Date closed

Browse by Place/Township

This is a list of all of the townships which had collieries and is not intended to be a list of all places in the coalfield. Where there is more than one colliery in a township they are listed alphabetically. Simply click on the colliery name for further information.

Search Durham Collieries

You can enter a keyword, such as a surname, place name or colliery in the Search Details Box on the Search Durham Collieries page. Refine your search using the options below the search box.

Search Results

The following is an explanation of the search results information.

Date Opened/Sunk

Where the sinking date of a mine could be found it is shown under date Opened/Sunk. Please bear in mind that there could be a period of time (sometimes months or years) between a sinking date and the production of coal from a mine.


This is the date that a colliery closed. Some of this information is taken from documents compiled by the National Coal Board in the 1970s (Ref No. NCB 24/117). Closure dates can be difficult to determine since collieries could close, re-open and close again.


The location of a colliery is given in miles and kilometres in a given direction from a main town. The first, second, third and fourth editions (c.1856 to c.1940) of the Ordnance Survey maps were used to identify the locations of the collieries and a number of unnamed shafts.

Please note that only a partial survey of the county was undertaken for the fourth edition of c.1940, so it has been impossible to include information for collieries at that date in areas where no maps were produced.


Please note that all sources for the information given are noted in brackets.

Map of Area

It is possible to view the area in which a mine was located by clicking the link at the bottom of the detail screen. A new browser window will open and the Geographical Information System (GIS) will launch showing the specific grid square in which the mine was located. Further information on maps and GIS is available for your reference.