The colliery cottage 1830-1915, the great northern coalfield
The North East of England experienced its greatest period of economic growth during the period 1830-1915. This economic prosper .- ity was closely related to coal mining, with a corresponding increase in the number of coal miners who had to be accommodated near the collieries. This explains the large number of colliery cottages constructed, and their location often in previously uninhabited areas. This thesis seeks to establish the seminal plan form of the Colliery Cottage of the Great Northern Coalfield, to trace .its development, to examine the social context and analyse the settlement pattern. Part One sets the scene for the study with a historical background of the Great Northern Coalfield, identifying the demographic profile of the community and examining its main characteristics: economic, social, historical and health. Part Two is concerned with the colliery cottage itself and presents a catalogue of cottage types. Drawn from a wide variety of sources, selected examples of different categories of colliery cottage have been recorded to a standard format. An analysis of the drawings gives a comprehensive picture of origin and development of this building type which holds a special place in the history of the North East.Part Three looks at detail design: the fabric of the colliery cottage, the materials, construction methods and the interior. Part Four describes the colliery villages. Using Ordnance survey maps as the main reference point, the various settlement patterns have been traced from agricultural origins: the square, the row and the grid pattern of the Bye Law street through to the socalled enlightened plan which emerged towards the end of the study period. The development cost of the settlement and its financial organisation are also considered. The thesis by its very nature is a synthesis of a range of knowledge fields:historical, technical, aesthetic and social. The approach in this case has been from a broad perspective and with knowledge of miners' cottages in other areas. It is hoped that in this way a complete picture of the colliery cottage within its historical context has emerged.