Falstone : Hawkhope Hill Colliery
Falstone also shared in the economic growth brought about by the development of coal mining in upper North Tynedale. The largest mine lay further up the valley, at Plashetts, but a series of smaller pits were worked on the hillside above the village, around Hawkhope Hill farm during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The 1st edition Ordnance Survey shows several shafts north of Hawkhope Hill Farm c. 1860, though none of these are labelled.
By the time the 2nd OS edition was produced in 1896, these were described as ‘old shafts’, implying they were all redundant by the end of the 19th century. However a new drift mine was opened shortly afterward. The installations are shown, already disused (‘old drift’), on the 3rd Ordnance Survey edition (1921), located midway between the village and Hawkhope Hill Farm, and were recorded by photographs taken c. 1910 which show the miners, the drift entrance and the pumping engine.
The colliery featured a short incline/tramway connecting it to a siding on the Border Counties Railway, just north of Falstone station (Sewell 1992, 67). The pit was operated by the Falstone Coal Company, rights to work the coal being leased from the Ridley family of Park End near Wark, who owned Hawkhope Hill Farm (cf. Roberts & West 1998, 57). It employed about 20 - 30 men until 1914 when the workings were partially flooded. After attempts to sell the pit failed, it was closed. As noted above, the installations were already disused by the time they were mapped by the 3rd edition Ordnance Survey in 1921, but the colliery did reopen for a time during the 1930s.