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Hetton-le-Hole facts for kids

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Town and civil parish
Hetton-le-Hole is located in Tyne and Wear
Population 14,402 
OS grid reference NZ354474
Civil parish
  • Hetton
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district DH5
Dialling code 0191
Police Northumbria
Fire Tyne and Wear
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
  • Houghton and Sunderland South
List of places
Tyne and Wear
54°49′16″N 1°26′56″W / 54.821°N 1.449°W / 54.821; -1.449

Hetton-le-Hole is a town situated in the City of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. It is in the historic county of Durham. A182 runs through the town, between Houghton-le-Spring and Easington Lane (the latter borders the County Durham District), off the A690 and close to the A1(M).

The parish, which includes the villages of Easington Lane and Warden Law, had a population of 14,402 in 2001 . The parish also includes Hetton proper, along with East Rainton, Middle Rainton (West Rainton is a separate parish), Low Moorsley and High Moorsley.

Great Eppleton Wind Farm, a wind farm originally of four dual-bladed alternators, provides electricity to the National Grid. The original wind turbines have been replaced by larger three-bladed versions. The turbines are far enough away from local houses not to cause any audible disturbance.


The history of the Hetton area can be traced back for up to a thousand years. The name of Hetton-le-Hole derives from two Anglo-Saxon words which were spelt together "Heppedune" or Bramble Hill. The name gave rise to a local landowning family, the le Hepdons who owned part of the Manor from the very earliest times. The ancient manor, which was bounded by that of Elemore, was divided into two parts known as Hetton-on-the-Hill and Hetton-in-the-Hole. This second and more sheltered part, was the vicinity in which the village ultimately arose. Records exist of the many holders of the manor right back to the 14th century. William de Hepdon held half the Manor by deed in 1363 and in 1380, William de Dalden held the other half. Even earlier charters go back to 1187 and make mention of the early village of Heppedune, its people, houses, crofts, ox-gangs and strips of land for the villagers in the three great fields around the settlement. In 1187 Bertram de Heppedune held the manor for the King and the other de Hepdons were his descendants.

Coal mining has been carried on in the surround area since Roman times. Coal was then obtained by drift mining, but by the 14th century shafts were used. In 1819 the Hetton Coal Company was formed and the first shaft sinking began a year later. It was a highly controversial undertaking, with geologists doubtful as to whether coal of any value existed there. The Hetton Coal Company owners also decided to build a wagonway from their new Hetton colliery to the River Wear at Sunderland. George Stephenson was hired to build the 8 miles (13 km) line. The finished line used a gravity down its inclines and locomotives for its level and upward stretches, and was the first railway to use no animal power at all. The methods he adopted were still used until 1959 as was some of the original machinery. These activities led to a rapid increase in the size of Hetton and over 200 houses for the miners were built at once. These have all but gone now, but twelve of these former mining cottages from Francis Street in the Hetton Downs area of the town were re-erected stone by stone at Beamish Open Air Museum, Stanley, near Chester-le-Street. The UK miners' strike (1984–1985) brought about hardship for many of the workers. Two local unsigned bands (The Pigeon Fanciers & Haswell Crisis) recorded and released a single to both raise money for the families and to recognise the contribution made by miners over the years in their locality. Their adapted version of a Bob Dylan classic failed to chart, but the project made a slight profit as local support from other mining communities ensured that 'Knocking on Hetton's Floor' sold in excess of 1000 copies.

Today, nothing now exists of the mine in Hetton. The former mine complex has disappeared and spoil tips have been removed, although some remain in nearby Haswell. The surrounding area has been landscaped and is now occupied by a lake and leisure facilities. There is also a quarry where sand is mined. This is now undergoing a reformation; around 15% of it has been smoothed and grassed over.

The decommissioned St Nicholas' Church on Front Street was destroyed in November 2006. It is unknown if arson was the cause of the fire. It had previously been listed due to its architectural significance.

Notable people

  • Terence Burns, Baron Burns GCB, economist



  • Trevor Horn, record producer and recording artist
  • Albert H. Oswald (1879-1929), composer of light music
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