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Washington 'F' Pit

Washington 'F' Pit Museum is a former coal pit that is believed to have been sunk around 1777, and continued to be in use until an accident in 1796. The pit has survived to become one of Sunderland's best historic sites, and a glimpse into our rich coal mining heritage.

Address: Albany Way, Washington, Sunderland, NE37 1BJ, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom
Telephone number: 0191 561 2323
Washington 'F'Pit

About Washington F Pit

Washington 'F' Pit Museum was opened in 1976 by the Washington Development Corporation, with the Tyne & Wear Museums Service taking responsibility for this in April 1984. It is currently managed by Sunderland City Council, and is one of the must-do experiences when visiting the North East.

The Museum allows visitors to witness the historic 'F' pit, which was once one of the many pits that were part of New Washington Colliery. Each pit was labelled with a letter of the alphabet, and by 1778 the first coals from the colliery were taken by wagonway to Sunderland. 

Sadly the 'F' pit was abandoned in 1796 due to an explosion which caused it to be filled with water. The pit survived this accident, and was later re-opened for use in 1820. Despite officially closing as a pit in 1968, it remains a fascinating historic attraction for locals and tourists wishing to learn about Sunderland's coal mining heritage.

History of Washington F Pit

The 'F' Pit in Washington has a long and colourful history, that saw the mining of Sunderland's famous coal supply. In 1856, following its temporary abandonment, the F Pit was deepened to reach 'the Hutton seam' and by 1870 it had become a major coal outlet for the colliery. 

In 1903 the pit was completely remodelled, with additional buildings constructed on the site until around the 1950s. From 1927 it was also modernised to bring electricity to all the faces, alongside the introduction of pneumatic picks. When the coal industry was nationalised in the 1940s, Washington 'F' pit was further deepened, and reached its peak production in the mid 1960s, where it produced 486,000 tonnes of saleable coal per year, and employed over 1,500 workers. The final coal was drawn on 21st June 1968.

Today you can view what remains of the pit above ground, including the buildings and machinery that helped make this one of the most successful and operational pits in the North East.

How to Get There

Washington 'F' Pit Museum is located in the heart of Washington and is a 22 minute drive from Sunderland city centre via the A1231.

You can also reach the museum via bus routes which leave directly from Sunderland. 

Virtual Tour

Opening times 2024

Washington 60                Saturday 20 - Sunday 28 July, 12 - 3pm every day

Heritage Open Days       Friday 6 - Sunday 15 September, 12 - 3pm every day

Schools wishing to book a local history workshop from 9 - 13 September 2024 (mornings), please contact Marie Harrison in the Learning Team on or call 0191 5618608.

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