1) These were names given to artificial colliery roads, designed to allow horses to draw heavy loads more easily. They were made of rails, originally of wood but then of iron, laid on timber sleepers and they were in use in Yorkshire collieries from the eighteenth century.

In 1745, the York Courant advertised a coal mine where a Waggon Way is made from the said Pitts, to Bottom Boat Staith situated on the River Chalder, Outwood near Wakefield. In several cases the link with the north-east is explicit: c.1772 opening this colliery and laying a Newcastle wagon-way with wood, Flockton

1784 will bring in Ł3,000 a year if there was a Newcastle Waggon Way made to Brigghouse. The alternative ‘wagon-road’ dates from the same period: 1779 To be Lett, a Colliery at Houghton near Pontefract … being One Mile of the Navigable River Aire, to which a Waggon Road may be made through the estate. Some of the roads covered long distances: a Leeds owner called Brandling had a wagon-way 2Ľ miles long which allowed him to convey coal into Leeds and his right to do that was secured by Act of Parliament: the Leeds Intelligencer referred to it as the intended waggon way in 1758 and the work was completed in 1759. The 1803 Inclosure Act for Shelley granted Liberty of making and repairing Waggonways and other ways in, under and along the same.

spellings wagon-way
dates 1745 1758 1772 1779 1784 1803

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