Welcome to the stripped down version of the history of Low Fell. Please note that some of the people and buildings mentioned in the timeline have their own separate articles. Please click on their names to find out more!
1530 (Approx.): Licence granted for coal to be mined on land that would later become Low Fell.
1700s: The area is populated with ne’er-do-wells, vagrants, tinkers and cloggers. Most lived in poverty.
1726: Ravensworth Ann Colliery (The Ann Pit) opened (closed 1973).
1774: Thomas Wilson, the famous poet, teacher and business man was born.
1785: Famous Theologian John Wesley arrives in Gateshead Fell. Describes the area as a “pathless waste of white”. He preaches many sermons and inspires the building of the Wesleyan Memorial Church many years later.
1809: The Inclosure Act is passed. It separates Gateshead Fell into High Fell/Sheriff Hill and Low Fell.
1825: St. John’s Church is opened, designed by John Ions. The total cost reached £2,742 (or £200,000 today).
1826: New Durham Road was built ‘through the fields’, putting Low Fell on the map. This led to a direct increase in population and wealth for the area of Low Fell. ‘The Fell’ high street would later spring up around the road.
1826: The Springwell Colliery opened.
1841: The Thomas Wilson Reading/School Room was opened for local children.
1850: The Ravensworth Shop Colliery (The Allerdene Pit) was opened.
1858: Thomas Wilson died.
1867: Whinney House, built by Edward and John Joicey, was completed. Edward lived in the house until his death in 1879.
1869: Famous inventor Joseph Swan moved to Low Fell. He invented the carbon filament lightbulb and lived at Underhill (situated on Kells Lane), the first house in the world to be lit by electric light.
1876: St. Helen’s Church was opened, financed entirely by Edward Joicey.
1876: Saltwell Park was opened.
1883: Wesleyan Memorial Church, which cost £4,000 to build, was opened.
1883: Joseph Swan leaves Low Fell to live in London (where he died in 1914).
1902: The Boer War Memorial was erected.
1914: The Denewell Avenue Presbyterian Church was opened.
1921: Whinney House was bought by Gateshead Corporation and subsequently turned into a hospital. Today Whinney House is the Mishkan Torah Yeshiva – the Gateshead Academy For Torah Studies.
1932: The Springwell Colliery was closed.
1935: Famous Singer/Songwriter Alex Glasgow was born.
1936: Work began on the Team Valley Trading Estate.
1951: Trams that had been running since the early 1900s stopped running along Durham road.
1962: The Ravensworth Shop Colliery (The Allerdene Pit) was closed.
1973: The Ravensworth Ann Colliery (The Ann Pit) was closed.
(Keep checking back as we update the timeline.)