History of Wallsend Parks

Early days

Wallsend village was founded as a medieval settlement in the form of two rows of houses on either side of a wide village green, and making use of the steep dene as a natural defence. This village plan was still largely unaltered at the end of the 19th century.

Two large properties were present on the north side of the Green; Wallsend Hall to the east and the Red House to the west. Both residences had substantial ornamental grounds, which by the end of the 18th century extended northwards across the burn.

The Red House was bought and demolished by the owner of Wallsend Hall in 1882, and its grounds were then added to those of the Hall.

Coal mining

Coal mining in Wallsend dates from 1778, when the first shaft, the 'A' pit was sunk close to the Roman fort of Segedunum.

The high quality of the coal found in the High Main seam encouraged further expansion of the colliery and in 1786 the 'C' pit (also known as the Gas Pit) was completed in the southeast corner of the area that would later become Richardson Dees Park. The 'C' pit continued in operation until 1854 when it was closed after it began to leak.

The 'C' pit was also the focus of rescue attempts in the Wallsend Colliery disaster of 18th June 1835, when there was an explosion at the nearby Church Pit. It was the worst disaster in Wallsend's mining history with 102 lives lost, including 26 men and 76 boys (the youngest of which was only 8 years old).