The house facing the end of Woodcroft Road has been known as Brewery House (5). The outbuildings of the former brewery stood at the back of this house until replaced by flats in recent years. The brewery itself closed in the 1870’s, not long after the main colliery and the ironworks ceased production, when the demand for a local brew must have dropped! Brewery House, with its neighbour, Willow House (at one time the colliery manager’s house) are both late 18th century buildings and with West House, form an attractive group fronting the Ovingham Road. This pleasant road which runs along the riverside linking Wylam and Ovingham was originally constructed in the mid-18th century by John Blackett of Wylam Hall.

Turning down Woodcroft Road, the former Colliery School and Schoolhouse (6) stand on the left. The school is a fine but somewhat austere stone building completed in 1854 (note the date stone on the bell-tower). It continued to be used until the new County Council school (now itself replaced) was built on Falcon Terrace in 1910. Its construction was largely promoted by J.F. B. Blackett, the local squire, who had also been responsible for establishing the Reading Room and Institution in the village in 1850. Elected an MP for Newcastle in 1852, Blackett died four years later at the early age of 35. During his short Parliamentary career he made a considerable impact and was undoubtedly one of the most able members of the local Blackett family who were Squires of Wylam for a period of nearly 300 years from about 1679 to 1971. The older building to the left of the 1854 school was used as an earlier school and later as the master’s house, but is now a private residence.

On the opposite corner stood the White House (7), home of William Hedley and his family between 1805 and 1827. A plaque was erected on the present house in 1979 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Hedley’s birth and his important contribution to railway history.

Continue down Woodcroft Road, but instead of following the road to the left, cross to the corner and walk down the narrow path (behind the Lime tree) which leads onto the old railway track (8). This formed part of the 6½ mile long Scotswood-Newburn-Wylam railway which was begun in 1872 and finished four years later at a total cost of just over £100,000. Never a financial success, it was taken over by the North Eastern Railway Company in 1883. The line eventually closed in 1968 and was subsequently acquired by the County Council. It now forms part of the Tyne Riverside Country Park, which extends westwards to Low Prudhoe and eastwards to Newburn.

Turn right and walk westwards along the track towards the arched railway bridge (9) which spans the river. Completed in 1876 to designs by W. G. Laws (subsequently City Engineer of Newcastle) this wrought iron bridge is reputedly the first arch-rib design bridge built to support a suspended railway track. It has similarities to the bridges at Sydney Harbour and over the Tyne at Newcastle – both of more recent design. It cost £16,000 to build. There are pleasant views up-river from this bridge.