Project Summaries 2006
64. 30-34 Gallowgate Watching brief
An archaeological watching brief was carried out on a site on Gallowgae, Newcastle upon Tyne in advance of a construction programme. There were no surviving archaeological deposits throughout much of the site.
The development site has been subject to substantial topographic modification and disturbance over the recent centuries.
No further archaeological work is required with respect to this scheme.
65. Chapel St Berwick, Building Assessment
A standing building assessment of the former Middle Meeting House in Chapel Street, Berwick-upon-Tweed was requested by Northumberland County Council in advance of the demolition of the existing building.
The present investigation concludes that this is a building of very high importance to the town of Berwick and Northumberland, particularly in the context of the Non-Conformist church.
66. 13-15 Coxon Lane, Berwick Watching Brief
This document reports on an archaeological watching brief conducted to monitor the excavation of geotechnical test pits on a site proposed for a residential development. Archaeological monitoring was requested by the County archaeologist for Northumberland due to the location of the site within the historic core of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The watching brief carried out in June 2006 revealed no structural or other remains of any significance and it is unlikely that any such remains will be disturbed during the planned groundworks proposed for the construction phase of the project.
67. Browson Bank Assessment
An assessment was undertaken on an area of land, currently under set-aside, as a borrow pit in connection with the ongoing improvement works to the adjacent A66 road. It is concluded that there are no findings to indicate that the area of the proposed works contains archaeological remains of sufficient significance to warrant mitigation by avoidance and preservation in situ. Furthermore, the waterlogged condition of the site and its position in a minor floodplain supports the view that the site is of low archaeological potential.
68. Burradon School Building Survey
A photographic record and associated background research was carried out in relation to Burradon Primary School, Burradon, North Tyneside, in March 2006. This was undertaken as a mitigation exercise in advance of the demolition of the school.
The report concludes that the building is of some architectural merit and interest in the context of its historic setting. The school dates to the late 19th century when Burradon was a thriving mining village and was probably largely or exclusively funded by the colliers of Burradon Colliery for their families.
No recommendations for additional recording work are made.
69.Castle Hill Farm, Crawcrook, Assessment
A photographic record and associated background research was carried out at Castle Hill Farm, Crawcrook in June 2006. This was undertaken as part of the mitigation strategy for as part of a residential development.
The report concludes that the farm-buildings complex was built in stages from the late 18th or early 19th century onwards, but was substantially complete in its present form by the end of the 19th century. Whilst the buildings themselves are of little architectural merit, the complex as a whole can be regarded as of some interest, with the signs of various phases of construction and adaptation reflecting its changing function. The appearance and subsequent disappearance of a gingang during the mid-late 19th century is of particular note, particularly since substantial parts of its structure were subsequently re-used in a later structure and still survive.
70. Eldon Square Phase2 Watching Brief
The results of an archaeological assessment carried out in 2004 and an additional archaeological assessment carried out in 2005 suggested that there was very little chance of any deposits of archaeological significance surviving within the footprint of the Old Eldon Square and Blackett street frontages.
However, due to the proximity of the site to the medieval city walls, it was recommended that development works on the Blackett Street frontage should be monitored by means of an archaeological watching brief. The purpose of the watching brief was to ensure that any remains of the town ditch, or its fill, were properly recorded in the event of disturbance.
This document duly reports on an archaeological watching brief carried out on the east-facing frontage of Old Eldon Square, Blackett Street between December 2005 and March 2006.
71 The Gap Watching Brief
An archaeological watching brief was conducted to monitor groundworks on the projected course of Hadrian’s Wall frontier complex adjacent to The Gap farm, Gilsland during works to convert a stone-built farmbuilding for residential use.
The watching brief carried out in March 2006 revealed no structural or other remains of any significance and the depth of excavation makes it highly unlikely that any such remains were disturbed during the groundworks.
72 The Gap Evaluation
This document reports on archaeological evaluation trenching conducted to inform a proposal for the replacement of wooden poles supporting overhead cables on the supposed course of Hadrian’s Wall immediately west of The Gap farm. Although no Roman remains have been recorded on the site, the archaeological trenching requested by the English Heritage archaeologist for Hadrian’s Wall was devised to determine the likely impact of ground disturbance upon any Roman military remains.
The investigation of the site by archaeological trenching revealed no structural or other remains of secure Roman date, although the remains of an undateable wall and associated features found in the west part of the evaluation area are worthy of note. The nature of remains found upon the site does not support a recommendation for further archaeological evaluation or mitigation by excavation. However, since the site is known to be on the site of Hadrian’s Wall Roman military frontier complex, mitigation by archaeological watching brief is advised.
73 Greens Farm, Lobley Hill, Photo recording
A photographic record was carried out at Green’s Farm, Lobley Hill, Gateshead in May 2006. This was undertaken as part of the mitigation strategy for a development involving the conservation and conversion of the building as part of a residential development.
The report concludes that the farm-buildings complex was built in stages from the late 18th or early 19th century onwards, but was substantially complete in its present form by the end of the 19th century. Whilst the buildings themselves are of little architectural merit, the complex as a whole can be regarded as of some interest, with the signs of various phases of construction and adaptation reflecting its changing function.
74 White House, Harbottle, Evaluation
This document reports on archaeological evaluation trenching conducted to inform a proposal for the construction of a residential property on the east side of the White House, Harbottle village.
It was concluded that the north part of the site has been disturbed by the construction and later demolition of the former extension to the present White House, the eastern part of which formerly extended into this area. The south part of the site appears to be less disturbed, although upstanding features such as the suggested oven and boundary features appear to have been truncated. Since the site preserves features associated with medieval settlement, it is recommended that a recording strategy is implemented to mitigate the direct impact of the intended development.
75 High Merrybent Farm Assessment
This report is an assessment on an area of land, currently under pasture, as a borrow pit in connection with the ongoing improvement works to the adjacent A66 road, some 2km west of its junction with the A1.
It is concluded that there are no findings to indicate that the area of the proposed works contains archaeological remains of sufficient significance to warrant mitigation by avoidance and preservation in situ. However, two specific recommendations are made to mitigate the cultural heritage impact of the proposed development, as follows:
The only monument of potential regional significance likely to be impacted by the development is a trackway and field boundary marking territorial divisions. Although the state of survival of this boundary is poor, it merits further evaluation by geophysical survey and trenching to determine its character and antiquity.
Several late prehistoric sites of regional importance lie close to the assessment area and there is some evidence to suggest that their associated field systems were extensive. Similarly, the presence of a Roman road and medieval boundary which is also suspected to be associated with secondary territorial divisions suggests that features of this nature may extend into the present assessment area. Therefore, a programme of geophysical survey is recommended in order to identify areas of particular concern for further, invasive evaluation. However, this work should be limited to the east and south parts of the site, away from the areas of the site most affected by quarrying.
76 Keel House Site Evaluation
This document reports on the second phase of archaeological excavation conducted to record suspected archaeological deposits to inform a proposal for the construction of a 3-5 storey building on the site formerly occupied by Sallyport Garage, Causey Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne. Previous documentary and evaluation has provided contextual information regarding the development of the area, demonstrating the likelihood that it was adjacent to the line of the Roman Military Way, part of the Hadrian’s Wall frontier complex, and a focus of settlement in the post-medieval period.
The further investigation of the site by archaeological trenching was carried out in May 2006 by means of two trenches, one running north to south from close to the northern border of the site, adjacent to Garth Heads, the other running westwards towards Tower Street/Causey Bank from the west side of Trench 1. Both trenches were excavated to depths of 4.8m, but neither revealed archaeological remains of any significance. However, since the site is known to sit within an area of high archaeological potential, it is recommended that a watching brief should be implemented to mitigate the direct impact of development by recording any features revealed during groundworks.
77 West Kenton Farm Assessment
An archaeological assessment and photographic record was carried out at West Kenton Farm, Kenton in June 2006. This was undertaken in advance of the conservation and conversion of the building as part of a residential development.
It is not considered that the potential for the survival of significant archaeological remains is sufficiently high to merit evaluation of the site. However, it is proposed that a watching brief is carried out during groundworks associated with the construction works to mitigate the impact of the proposed developments upon known or potential archaeological remains in the assessment area.
78 Davidson’s Garage, Morpeth, Evaluation
This report describes a programme of archaeological evaluation trenching conducted at the Davidson’s Garage site, Morpeth in advance of the redevelopment of the site.
An archaeological assessment carried out in 2005 provided background information on the development of the area.
A total of 5 evaluation trenches were mechanically excavated.
The investigation of the site by archaeological trenching found no archaeological evidence indicative of medieval or earlier settlement or industrial activity.
It is not considered that substantial archaeological remains of medieval or earlier periods survive on the site. It is recommended, however that a watching brief is maintained on the sides of the site bordering the river Wansbeck, Bridge Street and the upper part of Goose Hill in order to record any pockets of remains found to survive in areas unexplored during the evaluation.
79 Musgrave Coach House Building Survey
A photographic record was carried out in relation to the former coach house in the grounds of the former Musgrave School, at 333 Durham Road, Gateshead in November 2005. This was undertaken in advance of the conservation, extension and conversion of the building.
The report concludes that the Coach House is of little architectural merit but can be regarded of some interest in the context of its historic setting.
80 Riverside Works, Newburn Assessment
This document provides a report on an assessment undertaken in advance of the proposed redevelopment of a wasteland site owned by A1 Industrial Trucks Ltd. at Newburn riverside.
There is no evidence that any archaeologically significant sites of regional or national importance exist within the assessment area, although the possibility remains that unknown objects, features or deposits may survive there, potentially preserved by deposits of made ground. It is considered unlikely, however, that any such archaeologically sensitive features or materials survive in the positions of the existing main drain which divides the site along the N-S axis.
It is suggested that evaluation should be implemented only in the southern part of the site, where the construction of new buildings is proposed, rather than in the northern part of the site where mitigation by avoidance is recommended with respect to the south face of the Wylam wagonway embankment.
81. Prospect House, Throckley Evaluation
This report describes a programme of archaeological evaluation trenching conducted at the rear of Prospect House on Hexham Road, Throckley. The trenching carried out in March 2006 was devised to determine the precise impact of a proposed development scheme upon cultural heritage remains of Roman origin thought likely to survive within the site.
Two evaluation trenches were mechanically excavated and hand cleaned to a maximum depth of 0.9 metres in the proposed development area. The second trench excavated between 17.5m and 28.5m from the south side of Prospect House uncovered the well-preserved remains of the Roman Military Way, part of Hadrian’s Wall Military Frontier, a monument of international importance.
It is concluded that while there is no apparent impediment on cultural heritage grounds to development taking place close to the rear of Prospect House, the well-preserved remains of the Military Way found in Trench 2 are of international importance and any further disturbance should be avoided.
82. Rivergreen Kennels Building Survey
A photographic record and associated background research was carried out at Rivergreen Kennels, Meldon in June 2006.
The report concludes that the buildings have a two-fold character that of a planned farm erected in the second quarter of the 19th century, and that of the hunt kennels into which it was converted in 1889.
The 19th century farmstead alone is of local interest as a surviving example of the kind of farm which sprang from developments in farming methods in the later 18th and 19th centuries, its subsequent development reflecting further changes in farming practice and function (The appearance of a gingang in the mid-19th century and its fragmentary survival is of particular note in this respect). However, its conversion into kennels, a process which necessitated the partial reconstruction and reorganisation of the existing buildings makes it a highly unusual group.
83. Biddlestone NNPA
An additional village atlas added to the Northumberland National Park Village Atlas Series (2004).
84. Harehaugh Excavation 2002
Report on the programme of excavation and related fieldwork at Harehaugh hillfort, carried out in Summer 2002.
85. Foundry Lane assess and photo recording
This assessment was undertaken for the proposed redevelopment at Kelly’s Yard, Foundry Lane, Ouseburn. The principal findings of the assessment relate to frontier monuments of the Roman period and industrial remains of the modern era, which represent the most significant remains considered potentially likely to survive within the assessment area. The precise route taken by Hadrian’s Wall (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) across the valley of the Ouse Burn remains to be established, but there are strong grounds for believing that it traversed the northern part of the assessment area, specifically crossing the former Stephen Easten’s yard rather than Kelly’s Yard. The earliest phase of occupation in this period which can be substantiated is the village referred to by Bourne and depicted on Donkin’s map of 1767. Accordingly, the report recommends that a considered evaluation of the archaeological potential of the site should be made by means of trial trenching in order to develop a mitigation strategy which may, at a later stage, include excavation. The principal aims of the evaluation programme will be to determine whether evidence survives to confirm that Hadrian’s Wall traversed the site; to establish the degree of preservation of any such Roman frontier remains; and to investigate whether significant evidence survives relating to the growth and development of industry in this part of Ouseburn.
86. Wellbar House, Newcastle upon Tyne, Assessment
This report constitutes an assessment for the proposed redevelopment of a site on Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, currently occupied by Wellbar House.
The assessment reports that Gallowgate was an ancient access route into the built-up area of Newcastle, however its present course alongside the assessment site postdates the construction of the town wall in this area c. 1280.
It is likely that intensive development, particularly from the late 19th century onwards, including the construction of Wellbar House itself, will have destroyed the majority of any surviving archaeological deposits in the area. However, no definite evidence for cellaring was revealed and it is possible that archaeological features or materials may survive in pockets within the proposed development site. A watching brief during construction works is therefore recommended to mitigate by record any further damage to the archaeological deposits.
88. Broomhouse Farm Rrecording
Broomhouse Farm, now caught up within a modern housing estate, lies on the south side of the Tyne Valley c.800 m east of Prudhoe Castle. The origins of the farm complex are unknown. The farmhouse is probably of late 18th or early 19th century date, while the present farmbuildings (apart from the central range) probably date to the period around 1840. However, a quite different group of buildings to the present arrangement appear on an 1825 map and the farmbuildings display some unusual features, including a re-set window head that appears to be of medieval date and a date-stone of 1703, both of which hint at earlier structures on the site. Following discussions around the provenance of the possible medieval window, sited in a reused position in the gable end of one of the barns, it was agreed that a record should be made and that it should be retained in the conversion. Accordingly, the following is a report on an archaeological record of the window carried out in October 2006. The record constitutes the final phase of archaeological works on the site following an archaeological appraisal of the site in January 2005.
89. Brewing in coquetdale
This document was commissioned by Northumberland National Park Authority (NNPA) in order to contribute to the development of a new festival in Coquetdale, The John Barleycorn Festival. The report provides an historical background for the project, and a framework upon which to develop public interpretation in various forms.
The report focuses on the production of whisky and beer in Coquetdale, but also deals in some depth with trade and consumption. In addition, the processes involved in the brewing of beer and distilling of whisky are also covered, using historic records from Scotland and more recent ethnographic parallels where appropriate. An attempt was made to photograph all the known sites of former and present whisky houses, inns and public houses between Rothbury and the head of the valley.
90. Heavygate Farm WB
This report is on an archaeological watching brief carried out in September 2006 at Heavygate Farm, Chopwell. The watching brief constitutes the final phase of archaeological works on the site following an archaeological appraisal of the site by the Tyne & Wear Archaeological Officer. This led to a specification for a watching brief to be carried out as a condition of planning consent. No structures, features of artefacts of archaeological significance were disturbed by the groundworks associated with the development work adjacent to Heavygate Farm. No further archaeological work is required in connection with the present scheme.
91. Lion House WB
This report is on an archaeological watching brief carried out in July 2006 at Lion House, Alnwick. The watching brief constitutes the second phase of archaeological works on the site following an assessment in July 2006. No structures, features of artefacts of archaeological significance were disturbed by the groundworks associated with the excavation of geotechnical test pits at Lion House, Alnwick. No evidence was found for any of the features recorded by the site assessment within the areas subjected to the works recorded here.
In the light of these findings it is not recommended that further evaluation of the site is warranted, but a watching brief should be maintained on any further works associated with the proposed redevelopment scheme towards the west side of the site (adjacent to the former course of the A1).
92. 52 Carville Road Assessment and Evaluation
This report describes a programme of archaeological evaluation trenching conducted at 52 Carville Road, Wallsend in advance of site redevelopment.
An archaeological assessment carried out in January 2006 provided background information on the development of the area.
A single, L-shaped evaluation trench, was mechanically excavated and hand cleaned to a maximum depth of 2.75 metres during March and April 2006. The substantial remains of three Roman ditch/gulley features and, in addition, the remains of a stone-built structure immediately outside the defences were discovered. Although no finds were recovered in association with the above features to provide corroboratory dating evidence, their position, form and character suggest that they originated in the second and third centuries A.D. The archaeological remains found upon the site are constituents of the Hadrian’s Wall Military Frontier complex, a monument of international importance. It is recommended, therefore, that the Roman remains should be avoided during any development of the site, although their depth, at over 2.5 metres below the present surface, may be sufficient to allow non-destructive development.
93. Tarset Archive Group Farm Surveys 2006
Historic buildings survey, photographic record, map regression and basic documentary survey of 10 farms in the Tarset region of Northumberland - produced in cooperation with Peter Ryder).
94. Harbottle Reay Castle Evaluation
This document reports on archaeological evaluation trenching conducted to inform a proposal for the construction of extensions to a residential property on the east and south sides of Reay Castle, an existing bungalow of modern origin in Harbottle village. The investigation of the site by archaeological trenching revealed no structural remains of archaeological significance.
It is concluded that the Reay Castle site has been disturbed by the construction of the present bungalow, where the ground surface appears to be truncated. It is possible, though unproven that medieval settlement activity extended into the area of the evaluation, but likely that any remains of such activity have been removed.
The nature of remains found upon the site does not support a recommendation for mitigation by avoidance, and no further archaeological work there is merited.
95. Railway Club Gateshead Recording
A photographic record and associated background research was carried out in relation to the Gateshead Railway Club at Hudson Lane, Gateshead in November 2006. This was undertaken as a mitigation exercise in advance of the conversion of the greater part of the building for residential use. The report concludes that the building is of some architectural merit and interest in the context of its historic setting, and internally displays a number of phases of adaptation which reflect its changing primary functions from Literary Institute, works canteen and Temperance Society to social club and ground floor gymnasium. It is recommended that limited additional recording work is carried out during the stripping of modern interiors which presently obscure details of its original construction.
96. Scon's Park Survey
This document provides a report on archaeological recording work carried out on an area of land proposed as an open-cast coal quarry adjacent to Byermoor Farm, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. At present the land is under a mixed arable and pasture regime, farmed from Byermoor Farm.
The topographical survey reported here was requested following recommendations provided in an assessment from 2005.
It is concluded that the various components documented during the assessment and recording phases of cultural heritage work at Scon’s Park form part of a closely interrelated, well-preserved historic landscape which merits further evaluation.
97. Old Yeavering Cottages, Watching Brief
An archaeological watching brief carried out in July 2006 to the rear of 1&2 Old Yeavering Cottages, Kirknewton. The watching brief constitutes the final phase of archaeological works on the site.
No structures, features of artefacts of archaeological significance were disturbed by the groundworks associated with the development work adjacent to Old Yeavering Cottages.No further archaeological work is required in connection with the present scheme.
98. Old School House Warden Law Lane, Watching Brief
This watching brief constitutes the final phase of archaeological works on the site following an archaeological appraisal of the site by the Tyne and Wear County Archaeologist. This led to a specification for a watching brief to be carried out as a condition of planning consent.
No structures, features of artefacts of archaeological significance were disturbed by the groundworks associated with ground preparation work ahead of construction project at Warden law Lane.
No further archaeological work is required in connection with the present scheme.
99. Buteland Farm, Watching Brief
Northumberland County Council Conservation Team required an archaeological watching brief to be carried out during the excavation of a service trench for the provision of electricity to a new pumping station north of Buteland Farm, Birtley, Northumberland.
No structures, features of artefacts of archaeological significance appear to have been disturbed by the groundworks associated with the excavation of a service trench by NEDL and subject to archaeological watching brief north-west of Buteland Far, Northumberland. No recommendations can be made with respect to the present scheme.
100. 32-34 Sandhill, Building Recording
In December 2006 a photographic record and associated background research was carried out on a set of post-medieval timber-framed buildings spanning five medieval tenements at numbers 32-39 Sandhill, Newcastle upon Tyne
101. Mitford Castle Conservation Project, Phase 2 Consolidation Works,
A programme of archaeological monitoring was carried as part of consolidation works at Mitford Castle, Northumberland, between July and October 2006. The programme was initiated in response to the evident deteriorating condition of parts of the structure. The present report covers the second phase of conservation work, involving the north-east curtain and gateway and the interior of the Shell Keep, carried out between July and October 2006.
The first phase of consolidation work, taking in the West Curtain Wall, was documented by The Archaeological Practice Ltd. in 2004.
The conservation work carried out in 2006 involved clearing vegetation from wall tops, core and facing, including the removal of some deep rooted trees and bushes. The wall faces were repointed whilst the exposed core was rough racked and grouted and capped with heavier mortar to facilitate runoff and prevent weed growth. The most deeply rooted trees, notably in the Shell Keep, were cut back. The monitoring work was conducted by regular site visits, project meetings with accompanying site inspections and a presence on site whenever the work schedule required. A comprehensive photographic record of the structural fabric before, during and after consolidation was produced during the site visits.
102. The Tarset Archive Group Atlas of Archaeological and Historical Sites, 2006
A project that involved mapping the sites of historic and archaeological interest in the Tarset area, a project by Tarset Archive Group.
103. The Great Storm 1901, Information and Education Pack (For MAG)
104. Eldon Square Redevelopment, Newcastle additional assessment (revised), July 2006 (For CSC Properties Ltd)
105. Lion House, Alnwick, Assessment, July 2006 (For DEFRA)
106. North Road, Berwick upon Tweed, Evaluation, (For AWA/Colliers CRE)
107. Thirlwall NNPA An additional village atlas added to the Northumberland National Park Village Atlas Series (2004).