Avenue Branch Line

The ‘Avenue Branch’ Railway Line is so called as it crossed The Avenue, the grand tree lined approach to Delaval Hall. The line built in 1860 and operating until 1964, ran from Hartley Junction and linked into the Blyth and Tyne Railway, which played an integral part unlinking Newcastle to the Coast. The tracks of the modern Metro system follow part of the course of the former Blyth and Tyne Railway.

Although not a true waggonway, the Avenue Branch Line is, nevertheless, regarded locally as part of the waggonway system. The raised embankment marks the line of one of the region’s oldest sections of waggonway.

The undulating pattern of medieval ’ridge and furrow’ farming can still be seen in adjoining fields, where medieval farmers planted crops on ridges of land and dug drainage furrows to carry away excess water.

Also, evidence of early ‘bell pits’ can be seen in these neighbouring fields.’Bell pits’ were used for shallow deposits a few metres below the surface