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WASHINGTON F PIT

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This colliery site includes an early 20th century colliery engine house, in situ engine and steel lattice headgear at Washington F Pit, Albany. The Washington F Pit was sunk in 1777 and raised coal until an explosion led to its abandonment in 1796. The pit was re-opened in 1820, deepened in 1857 and remodelled around 1903. The engine house was built in 1926 and housed a second-hand engine built by the Grange Iron Company of Durham in 1888. The colliery reached a peak of production during the mid-20th century but was finally closed in 1968. The site was cleared soon after and the engine house was presented to the people of Washington as a monument. It was opened as a museum in 1976.

The engine house itself is of red brick, rectangular in plan, with a hipped Welsh slate roof. The headgear springs from a steel cross beam above the doors. A blocked square opening below the beam and a small dormer window in the hip of the roof formerly allowed the twin headgear pulleys to be wound by a wire rope from a single drum located at the east end of the building. Internally the engine house is a single tall storey, with king-post double tie-beam roof, divided into two floors by a cast iron balcony which allowed access to the drum and engine. The in situ engine is a steam powered horizontal twin-cylinder engine capable of 500 horse power. The engine and drum are maintained in full working order though the engine is now operated by electricity. A section of headframe, now ex situ and situated to the south east, formerly operated as a guide for the ropes vertically over the shaft.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.