Bobgins engine house 250m south west of New House, Causey


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Bobgins engine house 250m south west of New House, Causey
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 20297 56055

Reasons for Designation

Coal has been mined in England since Roman times, and between 8,000 and 10,000 coal industry sites of all dates up to the collieries of post-war nationalisation are estimated to survive in England. Three hundred and four coal industry sites, representing approximately 3% of the estimated national archaeological resource for the industry have been identified as being of national importance. This selection, compiled and assessed through a comprehensive survey of the coal industry, is designed to represent the industry's chronological depth, technological breadth and regional diversity. Coalmills are water-powered pumping installations, generally consisting of a series of waterwheels set in a vertical sequence which were employed to drain single mines or areas of mine workings. They were developed towards the end of the 16th century in response to the increased need for mechanical mine drainage arising from the development of large-scale coal mining. They were established primarily in the north eastern coalfields during the 17th and early 18th centuries, although further examples are thought to have existed elsewhere. Coalmills survive almost exclusively as earthworks. They represent sophisticated examples of hydraulic engineering during this period and all surviving coalmill sites are considered worthy of protection.

The Bobgins engine house site is the only known survival of a water-powered beam pumping engine in the North East Coalfield, and is believed to have been undisturbed since abandonment in the 18th century. It is believed that valuable technological evidence will survive as buried deposits. The monument, therefore, offers a rare and valuable opportunity to study the technology of the water-powered beam pumping engine of the early 18th century.


The monument is situated at the confluence of the Bobgins and Causey Burns, WNW of Causey, and includes the ruins and buried remains of an early 18th century engine house which originally housed a water-powered beam pumping engine. The engine would have consisted of a rocker beam, raised and lowered by the axle of a waterwheel at one end, and operating pumps in a mineshaft at the other end. The bob (beam) gins (engine) engine house is situated at the southern boundary of the Beckley and Andrew's House collieries. It is believed to date to 1726 since in that year it is recorded that the Beckley colliery was drained from a shaft in the Andrew's House ground by means of a beam pump powered from an adjacent burn (later becoming the Bobgins Burn). The Andrew's House colliery was redeveloped in 1767, and a new beam engine was added to raise water from a 12 fathom shaft, though the earlier beam engine is likely to have continued in use draining both mines. The engine house, situated at the bottom of a steep slope, survives as a pronounced rectilinear mound approximately 13m square and 1.5m high. Though obscured by dense scrub vegetation, masonry fragments are visible, particularly at the north east corner which survives to several courses. A masonry retaining wall built against the slope survives on the western side. A shaft on the south side, now marked with a concrete post, is an important component of the layout of the site and is likely to retain technological evidence around the shaft head. Modern concrete shaft capping and a concrete post are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Clavering, E, The Coal Mills of North East England...1600-1750, (1995), 211-241
Clavering, E, 'Mining Before Powder' in Coalmills in Tyne and Wear Collieries...., (1994), 124-32
Re: Bobgins engine house, Clavering, E, (1997)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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