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Clara Vale

Clara Vale is a small village near Ryton and Crawcrook on the south bank of the River Tyne and part of the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead. Clara Vale was built as a community for the nearby colliery, which opened in 1893 and named after Clara Bell Simpson, the wife of a colliery owner. Before then there was a water-powered mill here (Crawcrook Mill).

Clara Vale is a village situated on the south bank of the River Tyne in Tyne and Wear, England. Once an independent village in County Durham it became incorporated into the new metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear in 1974 as part of the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead.


Clara Vale stands on the south bank of the River Tyne in a low-lying and quite secluded spot. Crawcrook borders the hamlet to the south. To the north, across the river, is the village of Wylam in Northumberland. It is notable for being the first settlement in Tyne and Wear that the river Tyne reaches and passes after leaving Northumberland.



In local government, Clara Vale is located in the 'Crawcrook, Greenside and Clara Vale ward' of Gateshead Council. The ward is at the far west of Gateshead and borders part of Northumberland. The ward is served by three councillors (three Labour). Gateshead Council is Labour controlled.

Clara Vale is located within the parliamentary constituency of Blaydon. Its current MP is Labour's Liz Twist.


Before the colliery and village were developed, a water-driven corn mill called Crawcrook Mill stood near the centre of the current village.

Clara Vale was built as a colliery community at the time the coal mine was opened in July 1893. Both pit and housing were purpose built by the Stella Coal Company. The mine closed down in February 1966, around the same time as many other nearby pits such as Emma, Greenside and Stargate.

The colliery and settlement were named after the wife of colliery owner John Bell Simpson, Clara was Atkinson (née Draper). There are early references to Claraville and some old maps refer to the village as Claravale.

Modern-day Clara Vale

There is very little in the way of modern housing, only the one terraced street, built in the traditional style of the village. Of the other non-pit housing and buildings, there is only the chapel and former school (now a community centre). There are no local shops.

By avoiding the suburbanisation experienced by nearby towns and villages such as Crawcrook, Greenside and Ryton. Clara Vale has retained its rural character completely. Farms and countryside surrounds the village. This includes a local nature reserve which stands at the site of the old colliery.

Due to its small size, Clara Vale has limited amenities and local services. However, nearby Crawcrook and Ryton offer a range of shops and services and both of these are within walking distance of the village so whilst Clara Vale remains secluded, it is by no means isolated. Clara Vale does, however, have three nearby golf courses. Ryton golf course, in Clara Vale itself; Tyneside golf club in Ryton and, over the river to the north, Close House golf club in Wylam.

The village also has a recreation ground, originally provided by the pit owners for the miners' welfare. The recreation ground has a football pitch and a cricket pitch with pavilion. Clara Vale Cricket Club play matches at the recreation ground on Saturdays during the Summer, with Ovingham Bridge End Cricket Club playing on some Sundays and Merz and McLellan Cricket Club on some Wednesday evenings. Clara Vale FC junior teams also play on the pitch at the Recreation Ground. Clara Vale Local Nature Reserve is located next to the recreation ground.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 26/10/2021).
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Gateshead Crawcrook River Tyne Clara Vale at War Clara Vale Colliery (1893 - 1966) Map and Aerial View Village Hall, Clara Vale War Memorial, Clara Vale
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Church Hall and Methodist Church, Clara Vale

Pinned by Pat Thomson
from Geograph (geograph)
Former School, Clara Vale

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from West View, Clara Vale
West View, Clara Vale
- "The rear of East View...Apart from a proliferation of outbuildings and extensions there has been little change." Photo by Andrew Curtis, 2010, and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons …

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Pat Thomson
from Geograph (geograph)
Terraced houses, Clara Vale

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Tyne and Wear HER(525): Crawcrook Mill
- [The first reference to a mill in Crawcrook is in Boldon Buke, c. 1183 (a survey of land belonging to the Bishop of Durham, Hugh du Puiset). There is a …

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Pat Thomson
  Co-Curate Page
- Overview About Crawcrook Map Street View Crawcrook is a large sem-rural village within the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, located just under a mile south-west of Ryton. Crawcrook is first recorded …
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Numbers 13 & 14 Edlington Gardens, Clara Vale

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IPA17: Conservation Area Character Statements, Strategies and Policy Guidelines
- "This Interim Policy Advice contains conservation area character statements for Gateshead’s 22 Conservation areas along with adopted strategies and development policy guidelines for fourteen of these areas. The Advice was …

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Simon Cotterill
from Geograph (geograph)
Font, Clara Vale Memorial Garden

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