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Lessons 2 & 3 - Maps

Map Work

Ashington is in Northumberland, four miles east of Morpeth and 17 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne. In the 1700s, it was just a small farm with a few dwellings around, but after 1847, when the first shaft was sunk for mining coal on the land of the Duke of Portland, it rapidly grew into the ‘world’s largest pit village.’ The Ashington Coal Company, which was formed in the 1860s, developed more coal mines and built houses for the miners and their families, who flocked to work in Ashington from all over the country. As the population grew, schools, post offices, leisure facilities and a police station were constructed, as well as places of worship. In 1913, Ashington Hospital was built.

• 1841: 76 people (39 male and 37 female) lived in 13 homes
• 1891: 5250 people (2852 male and 2398 female) lived in 849 homes.
• 2001: population = 27,335

To find out what Ashington was like at the end of the 19th century, and how it had changed in the following thirty years, look at the two maps and the photographs, and answer the questions.

Click on the images to make them larger.

Map 1 - The Ashington Area in the 1890s

os_2nd_ed_64.12_ashington_web_200 OS 2nd Edition 64.12 (section)

1. Housing

  • a. Name all the streets of houses you can find.
  • b. How many are there?
  • c.  What kind of housing is the most common?

2. Churches and schools

  • a. How many churches can you find?
  • b. Which religion do you think most people followed?
  • c. Why do you think this?
  • d. How many schools can you find?

3. Work

  • a. Where did people work?
  • b. Why was the railway needed?
  • c. Was Ashington a working class or middle class town?
  • d. How did you make up your mind about the previous question?

Map 2 The Ashington Area in the 1920s

os_3rd_ed_70.1_ashington_web_200 OS 3rd Edition 70.1 (section)

1. Housing

  • a. Approximately how many streets of houses can you see?
  • b. Most of the houses have a long space in front of them. What do you think this could be?

2. Churches and Schools

  • a. How many churches can you find?
  • b. How many schools can you find?
  • c. What other services are shown on map 2 but not on map 1?

Colour Coding

On your own copy of the maps shade

  • All the churches red
  • All the houses green
  • All the leisure facilities blue
  • All the railway lines orange


1. Look at the photographs of Ashington Football Club and Orchestral Band.

nro_5283c1849_web_200 NRO 5283/C/18/49

nro_5283c18100_web_200 NRO 5283/C/18/100

  • a. What do they show?
  • b. Where would they have practiced?
  • c. On which map did you find the answers?

2. Look at the two photographs of Station Road in Ashington.

nro_5283a028_web_200 NRO 5283/A/28

nro_5283a034_web_200 NRO 5283/A/34

  • a. What do they show?
  • b. Why are the children walking and playing in the road?

To download these questions click here