Project Summaries 2009
Carlisle and City FAS, Sheepmount.
Archaeological Watching Brief.
January 2009 (for AXIS)
Three trial pits were monitored in December 2008. No significant archaeological remains were observed. A late 19th century-early 20th century rubbish dump appeared to cover the site.
Carlisle and City FAS, Dacre Rd.
Archaeological Watching Brief.
January 2009 (for AXIS)
A watching brief during groundworks along a 160m stretch of Dacre Road, in the area of the scheduled envelope of Carlisle Castle revealed no remains of archaeological significance.
Zion Chapel, Sheriff Hill, Gateshead.
Archaeological Building Recording.
January 2009 (for Mr Davidson)
A photographic recording undertaken ahead of the redevelopment of the Zion Chapel for residential use. As much of the original stone fabric as possible should be incorporated into the new development.
Burnmouth Mill, Northumberland, Archaeological Excavation, February 2009
A topographic survey revealed a number of features in addition to those forming the wheel pit and race, visible as a deeply-incised earthwork, and various trackways. Notable amongst the additional features were platforms cut into the valley side and the remains of walls. The quantity of domestic pottery found during the excavation certainly supports early modern domestic activity on the site.
It was recommended, that attempts should be made during the design process to avoid direct impact on visible features. With regard to the wheel pit and race, however, it is appropriate that the existing stone-lined channel should be cleared, consolidated and re-used as part of the proposed development. An archaeological watching brief should be carried out during the clearance of the wheel pit or race and during associated groundworks.
Rothley Farm, Northumberland.
Archaeological Watching Brief.
February 2009 (for Mr Leaper)
Watching brief undertaken during the construction of a new property and access track. Nine trenches were observed which revealed no archaeological remains.
St. Cuthbert’s Church, Gateshead. Archaeological Building Recording.
February 2009 (for Ralph Tarr)
A photographic record and associated background research was carried out at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Bensham in advance of the redevelopment of the building. It was recommended that as much of the original stone fabric be retained as possible.
Prospect House, Throckley, Archaeological Evaluation, February 2009 (for Mr Dhillon) A single trench was excavated on the west side of Prospect House, Throckley. The trench uncovered shallow gulleys running parallel with the course of Hadrian’s Wall. Due to the poor state of the remains, excavation and recording of the features was recommended in order to mitigate the destructive impact of the proposed works.
Half Moon Hotel, Gateshead, Watching Brief and Building Recording Phase 2, February 2009 (for The Jesmond Group Ltd.) A recording was carried out in relation to the Half Moon Inn during demolition in October 2008. At least two distinct phases of stone walling were apparent in the cellar wall. None of the masonry can be dated with any certainty, but is unlikely to pre-date the late 18th century.
Newton Greens Farmbuildings, Northumberland, Historic Building Recording, February 2009 (for A & R Ord) The farmstead exhibits various phases of construction from the mid 18th to late 19th century. No further work is recommended but as much of the later stone fabric should be incorporated into the new development as possible.
St. Lawrence’s Churchyard, Warkworth, Archaeological Evaluation III, March 2009 (For PCC Warkworth) The third phase of works at St. Lawrence’s Church to inform a proposal for the stabilisation of the north wall of the churcuh. The excavations revealed that the east and west buttresses of the north wall sit upon earlier fragmentary structural remains as well as burials. It is recommended that the features should be avoided or excavated in advance of works.
Langdale Hall, Melsonby, Archaeological Assessment, March 2009 (for J Pratt) The report concluded that some level of prehistoric and Romano-British use of the land was likely due to the close proximity of the Stanwick Iron Age Camp and other sites in the area. Scots Dyke, a scheduled ancient monument, runs through part of the site, it was recommended that an appropriate buffer be left between the earthwork and the development with open area of the site subjected to geophysical investigation and possible evaluation.
RVI Conservatory, Newcastle, Building Recording, March 2009 (for RVI) A photographic recording was undertaken ahead of demolition of the conservatory. The conservatory was built in 1907 and restored in 1996. Any opportunity to remove and re-erect the structure should be taken.
Neptune Yard, Walker, Archaeological Assessment, March 2009 (for Sheppard Offshore) Although no evidence was found for any prehistoric settlement within the former Neptune Yard site it is likely that the riverside was exploited in this area. The yard is also close to Segedunum Roman Fort. The site was heavily used for shipbuilding from the 17th century. Evaluation excavation is recommended prior to development along with the recording of the stone-built quay walls.
St. John’s Church, Whorlton, Northumberland, Archaeological Evaluation, April 2009 (for St. John’s Church) An evaluation was undertaken to support a proposal for the improvement of a footpath and low boundary walls in St. John’s Graveyard. No archaeological features were encountered.
Neptune Yard, Walker, Archaeological Evaluation, April 2009 (for Sheppard Offshore) Four evaluation trenches were excavated after an archaeological assessment was conducted of the area. No remains of significance were found. The depth of overburden above the natural river bank profile is considerable. The potential for archaeological remains still exists and therefore an intermittent watching brief was recommended during further works.
St. Cuthbert’s Church, Norham, Watching Brief, May 2009 (for St. Cuthbert’s PCC) A watching brief was undertaken during the installation of a new water supply. No significant archaeological remains were encountered during the works.
Fenwick Tower Farm, Matfen, Northumberland, Watching Brief, May 2009 (for Sir Hugh Blackett) A watching brief was undertaken during the installation of services associated with the conservation of farmbuildings to residential use. No significant remains were recorded.
West Central Gateshead, Archaeological Assessment, May 2009 (for Gateshead Council) An archaeological assessment was undertaken of 14 sites in the west central area of Gateshead. All of the sites merited archaeological evaluation.
571 Westgate Road, Newcastle, Watching Brief, May 2009 (for Dignity Funerals)
A watching brief was undertaken during the construction of a northward extension to an existing garage on the north side of Westgate Road within the corridor of the Hadrian’s Wall frontier complex. The remains of modern structures were uncovered.
Stoneylea, Crawcrook, Watching Brief, May 2009 (for Mr Watson) A watching brief was undertaken during groundworks for the construction of a new development. No archaeological features or remains were observed.
Streetlighting PFI, Hexham Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Watching Brief, May 2009 (For SEC Ltd.) Watching brief part of streetlight PFI scheme in Newcastle and North Tyneside for works undertaken along the line of Hadrian’s Wall. No traces of the wall were found.
Streetlighting PFI, West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Watching Brief, May 2009 (For SEC Ltd.) Watching brief part of streetlight PFI scheme in Newcastle and North Tyneside for works undertaken along the line of Hadrian’s Wall. No traces of the wall were found although organic material in several postholes may represent the wall ditch.
Blackhall Mill, Gateshead, Watching Brief, June 2009 (for The Environment Agency) Five trial trenches were excavated as part of site investigation works. No archaeological remains were observed and therefore the excavations had no negative impact upon any remaining cultural heritage.
Clifford’s Fort, North Shields, Watching Brief, July 2009 (for North Tyneside Council) A watching brief in order to mitigate the potential impact of groundworks being carried out during works to preserve and enhance the surviving remains of Clifford’s Fort (1676). No significant features additional to those previously noted were discovered.
Streetlighting PFI, Buddle Street, Wallsend, Watching Brief, July 2009 (For SEC Ltd.) Watching brief part of streetlight PFI scheme in Newcastle and North Tyneside for works undertaken along the line of Hadrian’s Wall. No traces of the wall were noted.
Halton Lea Farm, Hartleyburn, Northumberland, Archaeological Evaluation, July 2009 (for HM Project Developments) Sixteen evaluation trenches were excavated at Halton Lea Farm following an assessment of the area. No discoveries were made to support the suggestion that sub-surface remains associated with the late prehistoric enclosure outside the site boundary extend across the site. Ard marks were noted but were undateable. Investigations into the medieval park boundary revealed it to be a substantial feature containing a stone revetment. It is possible that remains of underground coal workings may survive. A watching brief was recommended across certain areas of the site.
St. Michael and All Angels Church, Felton, Northumberland, Watching Brief, July 2009 (St. Michael PCC) A watching brief was carried out during groundworks for the provision of a water supply and new WC at St Michael’s Church, Felton. No remains of significance were noted during works in the churchyard. Ground clearance in the nave revealed disarticulated skeletal material. A single fragment of a medieval grave cover was noted. One potential medieval structural feature was noted on the south side of the nave. Any further work in the church should be accompanied by archaeological intervention.
Streetlighting PFI, The Roman Way and South View, Newcastle upon Tyne, Watching Brief, August 2009 (For SEC Ltd.) Watching brief part of streetlight PFI scheme in Newcastle and North Tyneside for works undertaken along the line of Hadrian’s Wall. No traces of the wall were noted.
Kenton Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne, Building Recording, August 2009 (Alston Murphy Associates Ltd.) A photographic record and background research carried out in advance of the demolition and redevelopment at Kenton Hall. Part of the building is of, at least, early 18th century origin although most of the building dates to the 19th and 20th centuries. Surface stripping was recommended prior to the demolition of the building to test for earlier masonry.
Streetlighting PFI, Progress Report, Watching Brief, August 2009 (For SEC Ltd.) Progress report on works done as part of the Streetlights PFI scheme.
Rose and Shamrock Hotel, Birtley, Archaeological Evaluation, August 2009 (for Sandbrooke Homes Ltd.) A desk based assessment revealed that the site of the proposed development lay within the medieval village of Birtley. A single trench was excavated in the hotel car park which revealed a single sherd of medieval pottery. No further medieval structures or remains were found. Well documented post-medieval structures (such as the smithy) were located.
St. Giles Church, Chollerton, Northumberland, Watching Brief, August 2009 (for St Giles PCC) A watching brief was carried out during groundworks for the provision of a water supply and new WC at St Giles’s Church. No remains of archaeological significance were observed in the 7 trenches dug. However, in some areas a tunnelling device was used which may have disturbed underground remains which could not be monitored.
Joicey Road School, Building Recording, August 2009 (for Hopper Howe & Sadler) A photographic recording and background research on the Joicey Road Open Air School for sickly children. It was recommended that the original 1937 buildings should be retained within the new development due to the importance and rarity. The air raid shelter should also be recorded prior to removal.
Biddlestone House, Biddlestone, Northumberland, Watching Brief, September 2009 (Mr MacDonald) A small archaeological assessment and watching brief was carried out during groundworks for a single storey extension to a dwelling. The watching brief revealed no archaeological remains.
Newcastle Quayside, Watching Brief, September 2009 (for Environment Agency) A watching brief undertaken during site investigation works on Newcastle Quayside. No archaeological remains or structures were observed.
Church of St. Michael and All Angels Church, Houghton le Spring, Watching Brief, September 2009 (for St. Michaels PCC) A watching brief was carried out at St. Michael’s Church between January and March 2008 in advance of a new underfloor heating system. Test pits were excavated in advance of the works and all features of importance were recorded. The results of the investigations advanced our knowledge of the church but also posed a number of questions. Roman building stones appear to have been used in the construction of the medieval church although remains of an earlier structure remain unproven. The presence of an Anglo-Saxon phase of construction was proven more securely. Later developments which were recorded included the internal remodelling of the church in the early 17th century and late 18th century.
Tyne Dock, Jarrow, Photographic Recording and Conditions Summary, September 2009 (For Port of Tyne Authority) A photographic recording and summary of the condition of the 150 year old dock entrances which are to be taken out of use. This report updates a previous assessment of the dock undertaken in 1999 by The Archaeological Practice Ltd.
Newgate Street, Newcastle, Archaeological Assessment, October 2009 (for NLP) An archaeological assessment undertaken in advance of the redevelopment of the Newgate Centre in Newcastle City centre. The assessment revealed that the medieval Newgate Street frontage had been destroyed by the 1960s development. A watching brief or limited trial trenching was recommended during works.
Melton Park, Newcastle, Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording, November 2009 (for Alston Murphy Associates Ltd.) An assessment and building recording was undertaken on the former Northumberland Record Office at Melton Park, Gosforth. The site is on the edge of the former medieval village of North Gosforth. The 1950s building occupying the development site is a former Anti-Aircraft Operations Room which was converted in the early 60s into a record office.
Neptune Yard, Low Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne, Archaeological watching brief, December 2009 (for Shepherd Offshore Ltd.)
An archaeological watching brief was requested as activity from the Roman, medieval and post-medieval periods is known to have occurred locally and that the remains of any such activities may survive below the modern ground surface. In general, the investigation of the site by archaeological watching brief revealed no features or finds of archaeological significance. However, since most of the site was not examined before landscaping was completed, it is not possible to state that no remains of archaeological significance were destroyed there as part of the development programme.
The Anglo-Scottish Border Roads of the Cheviot Hills, for Cheviot Hills Heritage Project, 2009 A study of the historical and archaeological background of Border roads crossing the Cheviot Hills, carried out as part of the Cheviot Hills Heritage Project. It describes the origins and development of the Border Roads system, focussing particularly on sections of five routes: Dere Street, Clennel Street, The Street, the A 697 and St Cuthbert’s Way.
Kenton Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne, Archaeological Evaluation, December 2009 (for Mr R Handa) This document reports on a process of archaeological evaluation trenching which revealed a sandstone wall on a north-south axis with a return to the west. This wall is identified as the footings of the north part of the west wall of a 17th century house identified and recorded during the demolition of ostensibly 19th and 20th century buildings comprising Kenton Nursing Home. The date of the wall remains was not determined, but the north-south section is likely to be 17th century or earlier, while the western return could be earlier or later. The absence of remains of the wall from the south part of the trench is somewhat mystifying, but perhaps explained by the modern demolition process or 19th century works on the building, including removal of large parts of original ground floor masonry.
Kenton Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne, Archaeological Watching Brief and Building Recording, December 2009 (for Mr R Handa) Whilst undertaking a programme of historic buildings recording at Kenton Hall, suspicion arose that an earlier phase of building survived behind the 19th century façade of the main block, facing onto Kenton Lane. This suspicion was affirmed by the results of limited soft stripping in July and August 2009, following which a formal request was made by NCCCT for further recording during subsequent soft stripping and demolition.
This document provides a record of this final phase of building recording which revealed, masked by later additions and wall coverings, the substantial remains of a thick-walled structure of probable late 16th or 17th century date, in which were the remains of post-medieval fireplaces, windows and doorways, mostly at first floor level. A tentative reconstruction of the original house, based on the available evidence, is as a rectangular two-roomed block with a pair of large projecting stacks on the north, and a stair projection between them.
Jarrow School, Tyne and Wear, Archaeological Building Recording, December 2009 (for Carillion Building PLC) A photographic record and associated background research was carried out in relation to Jarrow School.
It was concluded that this is a very typical school of the period, displaying reasonable quality but no great architectural merit. There have been extensive additions to the school since 1941, but despite this and some relatively minor, largely superficial internal remodelling, the original 1909 building has survived relatively unscathed.