This brief history of Crookhall was compiled by our founder and former Secretary the late John 'Beck' Dixon who had a passion for local history.
In 1183 Crooke was mentioned in the Boldon Book as ‘yields two marks.’
Successive families owned Crooke over the centuries from the De la Leys through the Thorntons, Shaftoes and others until the Baker family bought Crook Hall in 1635. They looked after the land but not particularly the Hall until Consett Iron Company bought it in 1877. When the first Manor House was built no one knows but George Baker “built or remodelled” Crook Hall in 1716.
Coal mining started in 1834 when the Baker family had the fields of the district drilled. In 1839, the Stockerly House Pit was sunk. The next pit sunk was the West Ellimore Coal and Clay Pit on the site of todays cricket field; next was the Delves Pit, renamed the Latterday Saint Pit or Saint Pit then reverting to Delves Pit. The final pit was sunk in 1921 and was called the Victory Pit, all coming under the “Crookhall Royalties” and officially called Crookhall Colliery. Drifts were opened up to serve all these pits; Bogle Hole, Witch Hole, Carr House, Humber Hill and Dunley Ford, Woodside and Esp Green.
Coal mining officially ended in November, 1963 but Woodside Drift was kept open for many more years in private hands.
Crookhall the village was created in about 1844 with the erection of one up, one down cottages called Red Row and Blue Row. The last of these cottages to be demolished were the three standing at the top of Fifth Street in about 1958/9.
In 1921 new cottages were erected in Crookhall and Delves Lane, this being the beginning of Delves Lane as a village. Crookhall people moved out of the dilapidated old cottages and into todays new bungalows.
Both villages had Methodist Chapels built, both had Miners Institutes built and both had Cooperative stores erected. Crookhall had a Sunday School built as a satellite of St. Ives at Leadgate, a fish shop just behind the last house in Main Street next to the footpath to Consett. Cades moved out of their house in Red Row, where they had sold all kinds of goods to the villagers for years, and into a purpose built shop at the top of South Street; later it was to incorporate the Post Office. At the bottom of Fourth Street a large wooden hut was erected to serve the village as a place to hold social events such as Beetle Drives, Bingo, Wedding and Christening parties as well as wakes. It also doubled as the venue for cricket teas after the formation of the cricket club in 1949. Truly a community centre of its day.
What is left in Crookhall today? Only the Miners Institute which is now Crookhall Community Centre!!
If you can please help The Crookhall Foundation and Crookhall Community Association to regenerate a once proud community.