Today, the Burn footpath is a delightful walk through beautiful rural scenery..
But it was not always so.
Turn the clock back to the 1860s and along the banks, where local people now stroll
with their dogs, tubs of coal were being dragged on their way to the gas works and
blast furnace down-stream. Kilns, firing bricks and tiles, filled the air with smoke.
Where now you pause for a picnic, two busy woollen mills processed local fleeces.
Sledges and carts, loaded with sandstone for building, trundled down the track and
further up-stream, limestone and coal were being loaded into limekilns.
Come forwards in time to the 1930s and 600 men and boys would have stomped along
the Burn path on their way to the South Tyne Colliery while narrow gauge trains chugged
past carrying road-stone from the Whin Sill to the marshalling yards on the meadows
beside the Tyne.
Tanky crossing the Burn carrying road-stone from the quarry at Cawfields. .
But the Burn’s history is not just about industry. Many families lived out their
lives in the various buildings along its banks and countless children made it their
playground and courting couples their romantic retreat.
The walk along beside the Burn has been the subject of picture postcards for a hundred
From the first corn mill built by the Romans until the closure of the last fireclay
works and narrow gauge line in the thirties, Haltwhistle Burn was the industrial
powerhouse of Haltwhistle bringing employment, prosperity and delight to the people
of the town. The Burn has always been an important part of peoples lives in Haltwhistle
and it remains so today.
In the beginning.
Find out about the Geology of Haltwhistle Burn here....
Riches from the earth.
Discover Haltwhistle’s long history of mining for coal here...
Seventeen and a Half Candles
Lighting up Haltwhistle- find the story of the gas works here....
Tiles, Bricks and Pipes
Discover Haltwhistle’s history of brick and pipe making here...
Threads of History.
Unravel the tangled history of the woollen industry of Haltwhistle here...