Friar's Goose Pumping Station
Building Gateshead Tyne And Wear

Friar's Goose Pumping Station

Building In Gateshead, Tyne And Wear

Remains of a pumping station built by Robert Stephenson in 1844.

Every time I think we've exhausted finding new places, Google maps comes up trumps and highlights something we've never seen before. This 19th-century ruined pumping house once played a crucial role in keeping the coal mines of Tyneside dry and operational. The name Friar's Goose dates back to the 11th century, when local Catholic friars collected gorse, changing to 'Friar's Goose' somewhere along the way.

Constructed in 1844 by renowned engineer Robert Stephenson, Friar's Goose housed three colossal steam-powered engines and pumped millions of gallons of water daily from the depths of the coal mines in the area. This prevented them from flooding and ensured the safety of countless miners. Each engine stood 7.5 metres (24 feet) tall and could raise 195 gallons of water with every stroke.

Friar's Goose became a focal point during May of 1832 during the Gateshead miners' strike. Miner's refused to work underground, so 42 lead miners were drafted in from Cumbria to take on the task. Obviously, this angered the Gateshead miners who threw stones and rubbish at the Cumbrian miners.

The striking miners also refused to leave their cottages though some were evicted, and their furniture and belongings were cast out into the streets. Things got so out of hand when support came in for both sides, that the military had to be called upon to stop the fighting in the street. Conditions for the Gateshead miners improved with the creation of this pumping station, though it was a number of years later.

With the decline of the coal industry in the 20th century, Friar's Goose fell into disuse and there is not much that remains there today. It's still worth a visit if you're in the Gateshead area, although it would benefit from a bit of a clean up and maybe some information to bring the site to life.

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How To Find Friar's Goose Pumping Station

Where Is Friar's Goose Pumping Station?

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54.962174, -1.571613

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Where To Park For Friar's Goose Pumping Station?

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54.961635, 54.961635

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There is space for a few cars in a layby across the road.

Contributed by Sandra Clemens

I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.

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Sandra Clemens

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Friar's Goose Pumping Station was listed in Building // Tyne And Wear // Gateshead