On 30 August 1873, the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle published the findings of a visit to Seaton Burn. The article describes the living conditions of the miners’ poor housing, and totally inadequate school, a broken down pump and provides detailed descriptions of the colliery rows to be found there at the time.
The majority of these dwellings, provided by Colliery owners, have long since disappeared. Their names recall many similar street names in nineteenth century pit villages – Bridge Street, Railway Row, Church Row, Chapel Place, North Row, and Store Row.
Now hidden away on a narrow track, Blagdon Terrace is one of the few remaining colliery rows in Seaton Burn. The little path, which passes within twenty yards of the back of one of the Blagdon rows, is actually the route of the old Colliery railway. The houses consisted of only three rooms, which accommodated very large families.
Pit owners liked to keep an eye on their workers so perhaps it is no surprise that the large, looming Brookside, built for Colliery agents and managers, is situated right next to the small miners’ houses.
Brookside boasted its own large gardens and private tennis court. It was the home of Colliery agent Rollo Samuel Barrett and his family between 1915 and 1935. They were preceded by Philip and Jane Bolam (about 1894-19o6), and William and Margaret Barrow (1905-1915).
Brookside Cottage was added to the east end of Brookside in 1930.
In 1977, it was bought from the National Coal Board by a co-operative who rescued it from its derelict state