The former colliery village of Pegswood remains a popular choice for families. Aranda Garrard explains.
LITTLE remains of the key role Pegswood played in Northumberland’s industrial revolution. Only a few colliery-style houses are left to tell the tale of a once-thriving coal-mining scene.
Today, the area is vastly different, with a modest-sized community, stylish new homes, and footpaths running around the site of the former pit and land reclaimed from the opencast mine.
These days, Pegswood is for those who want a more leisurely-paced lifestyle in rural countryside, away from heavy industry.
The area used to be known as Pegsworth, which in old English is thought to mean the enclosure round a homestead of a man called Pecg.
There is a single Methodist chapel in the village, that of St Margaret’s. Another church used to exist, but has since become housing.
Pegswood certainly offers working families the best of both worlds. Good rail services link Pegswood to Morpeth, Cramlington and Newcastle, while there are regular bus services to Morpeth, Ashington, Alnwick and Newcastle. Pegswood also lies on the A197 road, close to Morpeth and Ashington.
The only school, however, is Pegswood County First School; after that, most pupils have to travel to Ashington to continue their education.
Sporting facilities in Pegswood and the surrounding areas are good. The village has a football pitch, Astroturf pitches, bowling green and tennis courts. Longhirst Hall Golf Club is only four miles away, and there are many scenic countryside walks for those who like rambling.
Longhirst Hall is a Georgian building, one the finest examples of work of renowned architect John Dobson. Originally built as a family home in 1824, Longhirst is set in 75 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens.
Other things to see and do include visiting the nearby market town of Morpeth with its Chantry and pleasant river walks.
Mitford Castle is also on the doorstep, while Woodhorn offers an insight into the area’s former industrial years and also has visiting exhibitions.
Pegswood is a short drive from Whalton village. There, the historic Beresford Arms is a good stopping-off point for a meal and a quick pint.
Other nearby places to eat and drink include Linden Hall Hotel, Longhorsley, Morpeth, or for those who want something a little less formal, The Swan at Choppington serves good food and ale.
Christopher Goodfellow, valuation and marketing manager for Rook Matthews Sayer, said: “The village of Pegswood has undergone a number of transformations over recent years. Back in the 18th Century, it was just a sleepy hamlet of only 10 cottages.
“It developed however, into a bustling pit village and then, after the mine closed in 1969, became something of a dormitory village with most people travelling to the nearby towns of Morpeth and Ashington with some commuting further south to Newcastle. With recent housing developments such as Brocksburn Park and the completion of the village bypass, Pegswood has gained popularity and is seen as a much more desirable location with excellent long-term prospects.
“There is a whole range of property styles to choose from at prices ranging from around £100,000 for a two-bedroom semi to £300,000 for a particularly good four-bed detached.
“Good local facilities such as the first school and excellent transport links including a much-improved road system and main line railway station with direct access to Newcastle have helped make Pegswood the ideal destination for a whole range of buyers from first-timers to professional families.
“Residents can enjoy the social life in the two clubs with a comprehensive range of pubs, restaurants and other facilities in nearby Morpeth. There is also an excellent golf club close by at Longhirst Hall.
“Pegswood continues its transformation with new developments planned and under way. The delightful settlement of Bothal is a real gem just a short walk away and the area around Pegswood is being rejuvenated to create a country park where the wood and wetland are already attracting a variety of bird life.
“Phase two is still under construction and will include a large lake. Pegswood should definitely be on the list of any housebuyer looking for a great location with good long-term prospects.”