Republished book on local Bricks including a part on TempleTown Brickworks

A republication of a book detailing many of the former northeast brickworks, is to be available at the end of next week and orders can be placed at the Path Head Watermill website.

An account of Templetown Brickworks is included in the book.

proceeds going towards up keep of Pathhead Watermill which is worth a visit

Did you work at Templetown Brickworks the HCSW project team would love to read your memories and see any pictures

Local History Month 2022- The Value of being custodians

The History of Consett Steelworks (HCSW) project team are honoured and proud to be the Custodians for recording and cherishing the industrial heritage which was the life and times of the Steelworks at Consett

Plans are being made to attend events and share some of the wonderful items that the community have kindly donated to the project so that as many people as possible can “enjoy” them

We also hope that in due course there could be Derwentside/Consett Museum for permanent display and from which guided tours like in Durham for example could go from

Being Custodians is about allowing us to enjoy the heritage now but also to make sure future generations can too

If you or family have possible items to discuss donating we would be delighted to hear from you

Please comment or send the HCSW project team an email




Did you Work/Volunteer at Minsteracres on the old stable barn rebuild in the 1960’s?

Did you or family work/volunteer on the old stable barn rebuild in the 1960’s if so please do comment or get in touch with the HCSW project team

This following paragraph is from the Minsteracres website

The students then moved to other centres and Minsteracres became a novitiate house. At the same time another dream was realised, namely to open a retreat house. In order to achieve this, the old stable block was converted into residential accommodation, mainly with the help of volunteers from the Consett area who generously gave their time. The retreat house was opened in 1967.


Image by Andrew Curtis

Text with the image

Minsteracres Monastery

Minsteracres was the former residence of the Silvertop family, built on a hilltop site approached from the north up a long avenue of Giant Redwood trees.

The Silvertops were devout Catholics, persecuted for their faith, who made their fortune from control of coal mines in the Ryton and Chopwell areas. The original L-shaped house dates from 1758. A second floor was added under the stewardship of John Silvertop (1748-1801) who inherited the estate in 1789. Subsequent large additions followed, including an extension designed by John Dobson.

On John Silvertop’s death the estate was inherited by his son George who travelled widely, bringing back exotic plants and trees for the grounds, and works of art for the house. On his death in 1849 the estate passed to his nephew Henry Charles Englefield, who took the surname, Silvertop. He build a private chapel adjacent to the mansion, which was to become the parish church for the local Catholic community, dedicated to St Elizabeth and opened in 1854.

His heirs all died young, several in the Great War. Minsteracres was used during the Second World War as a base for fire service training and shortly after, Charles Arthur Silvertop sold the house, church, stables and 60 acres of land for use as a Passionist Monastery. The remainder of the estate, including 15 farms, cottages and 5,000 acres of land was sold to Tyneside industrialist Charles Cookson.

Friar Colum Devine of the Passionist Order, with the help of local volunteers, transformed Minsteracres into a monastery, and the derelict stables and coach house into a retreat centre which opened in 1967.

Minsteracres: Peaceful retreat marks 250 years – Hexham Courant, Tuesday 17 February 2015: LinkExternal link


Local History Month May 2022- A Night out in Consett- a memory shared

Nights Out In Consett

A Memory of Consett.

I have some wonderful memories of nights out in Consett in the sixties.

There was a pub called the Masons Arms run by Kevin and Ina Kearney and the barmaid Jenny, I think. It served the most beautiful beer in the world or so we thought, Tuckers ales.

On a weekend it would be filled with all sorts of characters, Army Sam, Wilf Patta, Vince Blacky, Willy Dicken, Phil Terry, all supping those big creamy pints, and the girls would join us as well – Julia, Celia, Fred, Cath, Angela – I could go on but they were special.

The juke box would be blasting out Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Animals and a few Irish rebel songs Kevin had secreted in the juke box under different names.

Such happy times. From there to the Brit , same thing only the beer was Vaux {yuk]. A few in there and then on to the Mount Pleasant as long as Jenny let you in.

The occasional band would be playing, mostly rubbish but you did get the odd one that was good but by that time of night who cared.

The final port of call was that trendy night club opposite the Freemasons, Bottos. There were always fights on in there but that was part of life in Consett and woe betide anyone from Stanley. A taxi home and do it all again the next day. Happy memories God bless, Sam

Source a memory added to Francis Frith website – see link

Picture by Red Dust aka Phil Bartle –

What are your memories of nights out in Consett? please comment or get in touch to share

Local History Month 2022- Where and on what did you spend your wages from the Steelworks?

The HCSW project team would be delighted to hear how, where and on what did you spend your wages

Did you work in the Wages department?

When was your first pay packet?

Did you buy your first car or house?

Did you dance the night away at one of the dance halls or clubs?

Drinking in the local pubs?


Hobbies like pigeon racing. allotments and vegetable shows, crafts or amateur dramatics?

Please do share your memories, stories and any pictures




A picture paints a 1,000 words they say

Peter Brabham shared on Flickr this great image with notes below

Unknown 9F on Consett Iron Ore train near Beamish in March 1966 by John Wiltshire

A gem of a shot scanned off a 35mm Kodachrome slide in the John Wiltshire collection. I worked about a mile away from this spot in 1984 and saw the odd class 37 going up to Consett which had just closed at that time.

18 years earlier it was one of the greatest spots in the Uk to watch the heavy Iron Ore trains working up gradient to Consett Steel works high up on the Moors pulled by the 9F heavy freight locos and often banked at the rear by another loco.

Picture from the John Wilshire Collection shared by Peter Brabham on Flickr ( if sharing seperatly please credit both sources)

So what images do you have hidden away in albums or drawers?

The HCSW project would be delighted to see and share them both on the website and our social media groups. We will also share with other local Heritage group

These types of images are social and industrial history, we are only the custodians we need to share them for us all now but also for future generations to come

Local History Month May 2022- Call out for your memories and pictures

The HCSW project team would like to take the opportunity of Local History Month 2022 to ask all to consider sharing their memories and pictures of working at or around the Steelworks

Various “projects” are happening including the Digital Voice Consett History Club every Wednesday until 22nd June at Citizens House

Richard Eyers Faces of the Works – Richard would be delighted to discuss photographing you as part of his project which all being well will lead to an exhibition in due course

Also pictures and building drawings will also help the Mapping group with mapping the site including 3D images which will be shared at events

Steve Shields will be giving a talk about his time on the Consett Railway on Sat 23rd July at Consett Park Bowls club all welcome

Memories and pictures will be shared with credit to local heritage groups too

So please do comment or email the HCSW project team- we look forward to hearing from you

Local History Month May 2022- Steelworks Mapping Project

Peter Jack Shaw heads up the Community Mapping project to read all about it click on the above link

If this of interest then please get in contact as this is Facebook group and there will be some up coming activities to get involved in

Also look out for a chance to see some the outputs of the groups at events and talks

Alan Godfrey Map of Consett 1896 – one of a series of 3 maps is link to the 3 maps from Alan Godfrey who are based in Leadgate

HCSW project team are delighted to be able thanks to Alan Godfrey Maps to offer a small discount on maps from them so if you would like a Consett or other maps do get in touch

Research – Peter and team would also be delighted to see and scan any building drawings and also if anyone has any pictures of the inside of the General Offices that would be also welcome to see

Local History Month 2022- Mr Richardson a Quaker and director of Consett (Derwent) Iron Works

Jonathan Richardson

Around 1842 Jonathan Richardson embarked on the creation of Shotley Park, a country house set in extensive grounds on the hillside between Snow’s Green and Shotley Spa. He was a Quaker banker and businessman, who promoted Shotley Spa and the Derwent Ironworks. He died on Christmas Day 1871.

source Shotley Bridge Village Trust

Shotley Bridge’s most distinguished Quaker was Jonathan Richardson who promoted the Shotley Spa mineral waters and pleasure ground as well as the Derwent Ironworks, which later developed into the Consett Steel Company. He lived at Shotley Park.

A couple of documents kindly shared by Christopher Thompson

Also a great read is this “paper” by Elizabeth O’Donnell


The HCSW project team would be delighted to hear from anyone with any additional information on the Quakers and relationship to the Steelworks

postcard image from Ebay