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View of Horden from 800 feet above sea level.
View of Horden from 800 feet above sea level.

Horden is a village in County Durham, England. It is situated on the North Sea coast, to the east of Peterlee, approximately 12 miles south of Sunderland. Horden was a mining village until the closure of the coal mine in 1987. Main features include the Welfare and Memorial Parks and St Mary's church. It is connected to the village of Blackhall to its south by a spectacular rail viaduct which spans Castle Eden Dene near Denemouth. Horden Dene provides Horden's northern boundary with Easington Colliery. The A1086 road is the main road through the village linking with Easington and the A19 to Sunderland in the north and Blackhall and the A179 to Hartlepool in the south, the B1320 links the village to Peterlee and Shotton in the West.

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[edit] History

The local manor house, Horden Hall, was built in the early 17th century, but Horden did not really begin to develop beyond a few farmhouses until the construction began of Horden Colliery in 1900. Pitmen’s homes were built, initially in rows of houses named First to Thirteenth Streets.

The first church in the village, St Hilda’s – now the church hall, was opened in 1904 and in 1913 St Mary’s church, built by local landowner Colonel Burdon, was consecrated. The village continued to grow strongly, reaching a peak population of 15,000 in 1951.[1]

Since closure of the mine in 1987 Horden’s population has fallen to around 8,500 (2001 census) and it now suffers high unemployment, higher than average health issues and problems with poor housing stock.[2] In addition, Horden has gradually lost most of its services and amenities including Police and Fire Stations, secondary school, many local shops, cinemas, and its railway station.

Primary and nursery schools remain, including Horden Nursery School, Cotsford Infant School, Cotsford Junior School, Yohden Primary School and Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School.

[edit] Mining

Horden Colliery memorial pit wheel.
Horden Colliery memorial pit wheel.

Horden Colliery was one of the biggest mines in the country. From the beginning of construction in 1900 to nationalisation in 1947 it was owned and operated by Horden Collieries Ltd, who also operated mines at Blackhall, Castle Eden and Shotton. Following nationalisation the mine was operated by the National Coal Board.

The mine was operated mainly for the purpose of working undersea coal, and had three shafts. At the height of operating in the 1930s it employed over 4000 men and produced over 1.5million tonnes of coal a year.[3]

Large volumes of water and other geological issues meant that Horden Colliery failed to make a profit from the later-1970s onwards, and was finally closed in 1987.

Rising minewater following the closure led to fears of contamination of drinking water. A minewater treatment plant was installed in 2004 by the Coal Authority to remove the majority of the iron and raise the pH level of the water. This is a temporary measure, prior to a permanent solution being installed.[4]

[edit] Regeneration

Opening gates of Horden Colliery Welfare park.
Opening gates of Horden Colliery Welfare park.

In recent years Horden has benefited from the removal of mining spoil heaps and the redevelopment of its Welfare Park (which houses Horden's rugby, cricket and football teams). The Durham Heritage Coast Partnership (previously the lottery funded Turning the Tide programme) is committed to the conservation, protection and enhancement of the coastline, which is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna.

For such a small village Horden boasts quite a nightlife especially at weekends with several clubs bringing people from nearby villages. Pubs and clubs in Horden include; Horden Comrades, The Bell, Horden Cricket Club and popular on Weekends, Horden Catholic Club and Horden Rugby Club.

Horden Big Club closed in June 2007 after a series of issues forced the owners to withdraw their licence with the site earmarked for residential development. 21 two and three-bedroom houses are expected to be finished on the site by December 2008.

[edit] Notable Residents

[edit] References

  1. , Durham County Council historical records
  2. , Horden South Ward Appraisal, Easington Council
  3. , Durham Miner project research
  4. , Coal Authority Pilot Project

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 54°45'N, 1°17'W


(Source: Wikipedia)
 
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