As a young boy growing up in Delves Lane my playground stretched from the train line at Consett to Knitsley and Iveston. Most Days seen a group of us head off in one direction or another. Boglehole was a standard haunt and a fantastic place to play and forage. Whether it was blackberries or wood nuts, or the apples from the house in the dip there was always plenty to find and enough for everyone. However I had no idea how much history lay just beneath our feet and to be honest in those days I wasn’t all that bothered.
A while ago I was talking to a lady who was born in Stockerley House which was situated on the lane between Crookhall and Boglehole. The only evidence of its existence now is the bend in the lane were it curved around the garden. This particular building was formerly the Pit offices for the Stockerley House Pit, the original Crookhall Colliery which was sunk in 1839 to help supply the foundling Derwent Iron Company. The straight track between that point and Crookhall was actually an old waggon way used for the transportation of coal. Although known later as Stockerley House the original house actually lay about 100 yards further down the track where the walled avenue still stands at Crook Hill nearer Boglehole. The original house was demolished in the mid 1800’s and the later burnt down in the 1960’s.
To the north of the house was the old Bogle Hole Drift which came out near to Stockerley Burn. In Mary Kipling’s book she also recounts memories of the area and of the men coming up for their baits at the Witch-Hole slightly higher up by Iveston as the drift mine encompassed a large area. She also states about the pumping station at Boglehole which was used to pump out the water and send it up to Crookhall Colliery and Consett Iron Company. It was a simple system but very effective.
The more I researched the area the more I realised that I knew all the names of the drifts and workings. Not because I knew the industrial history but because they were the names of the streets I had grown up around. Stockerley Road, Woody Close, Castledene Road and many others. The name Boglehole however held more of a mystery as does the Witch-Hole which I plan on researching further. Both have tales of Ghostly events and encounters. The name Bogle relates to a mischievous goblin or phantom known to play tricks on travellers. If you have ever been down that way at dusk or dawn I am sure you would agree that the place does hold an enchantment of those places found in the old folk tales. That is probably why so many of us kids were drawn to it.