The Boldons are a group of three small villages in the North East of England - East Boldon, West Boldon and Boldon Colliery - bordering the North of Sunderland, East of Newcastle and the south of South Shields and Jarrow. They have a population of 13,271.
'Boldun' was first recorded in print in 1170, and evolved from the words "Bold" or "Botl" meaning a building and "dun" meaning a hill.
In 1866 work began sinking a pit at the foot of the hill that began producing coal in 1869, and was then known as Boldon New Winning. The village that developed nearby in the 1870s became known as Boldon Colliery. When the mine was deepened and extended in the 1910s, further housing to accommodate the workforce was built to the south of the pit in an area known as Boldon New Town.
In 1976, the Boldon Colliery Band appeared in episode 13 of the television series When the Boat Comes In. The mine closed in 1982 but more jobs became available when an Asda supermarket opened in 1987. Further recent developments include Boldon Business Park. Boldon Colliery also has its own multi-screen cinema (currently operated by Cineworld). The main school in the area is Boldon School, a special sports college (formerly Boldon Comprehensive School). There is also a junior school and nursery (West Boldon primary), a playgroup and a hotel.
The Discovery Channel programme The Haunting produced an episode centred around the ghostly goings on at the Wheatsheaf Inn in West Boldon. The inn was reputedly haunted by the ghosts of a young girl and her murderer, with several reported sightings.