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Project Summaries 2012
     
 

Ashton Court Care Home, West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Historic Building Recording. May 2012. (For Solehawk Ltd).
The Ashton Court Care Home consists of a broad north-south range with shallow projecting sections at each end of the west front, and a broader projecting block set south-of-centre on the east side. A limited programme of building recording has been carried out in advance of the proposed demolition of building and the erection of a new care home on the same site.
It is concluded that, apart from the eastern outbuilding, the entire building seems of the late 1980s, although re-using older material. The three bay windows, which are of broadly late-19th or early-20th century character, were almost certainly re-used from the earlier building on the site, while the ashlar masonry of the northern part of the west façade, and the stone architraves to several of its windows, looks older, and might even come from a late-18th century building, as might the open porch further south.
The extant Ashton Court Care Home, therefore, is mainly a building dating to the late 1980s, replacing a smaller building set a little further back from the road, which first appears on the Ordnance Survey map of c1910. There seems nothing in the present building to suggest that anything of this structure survives in situ.
Finally, it is commented that if some of the ashlar blocks and moulded features of the western elevation are reused in the proposed rebuild on this site or elsewhere, they may find themselves involved in a fourth cycle of use, having been reused in the original Ashton Court building of c1900, re-used again when it was rebuilt in the 1980s and about to be dismantled when this modern structure is demolished.

  Ashton Court  
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Trinity Court, Corbridge, Northumberland. Archaeological Watching Brief.
August 2012.
(For Isos Developments).
Archaeological monitoring was conducted at Trinity Court, Roman Way, Corbridge, Northumberland during May and June 2012 in order to mitigate any damage caused during development works to potential archaeological remains on the site in accordance with a Brief supplied by the Northumberland Archaeological Officer.
This scheme of work follows earlier archaeological monitoring during geotechnical investigations, grubbing out of former building foundations and ground reduction works. No archaeological remains of significance were noted during any of these phases of monitoring. However, an archaeological evaluation was undertaken in early 2011 which identified a Roman midden deposit c.0.57m below current ground level on the south side of the site, containing a high density of late 1st to early 2nd century AD Roman pottery; a deposit likely to be linked with the fort rather than the later Roman town.
During this archaeological watching brief, no archaeological remains or features were observed during the excavation of foundations for the new building covering the site of the former Trinity Court Care Home. However, one, largely intact, Roman mortarium of first century origin was found in a section of a drainage trench near the southern boundary of the site. This area is close to the site of the 2011 evaluation trench which revealed the Roman midden.
It is concluded that although no significant archaeological features or deposits were disturbed during the majority of groundworks on the site - much of which appears to have been disturbed by previous phases of development works - due to the significance of deposits found during archaeological evaluation work and the mortarium found on site during drainage works, any further construction work on site, in particular around the south-western corner should be monitored archaeologically. Particular attention should be paid to any groundworks taking place at depths over 0.4m in areas not previously disturbed by foundations or services.

  Mortaria discovered at Trinity Court  
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Denton Hotel, SIlver Lonnen, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Archaeological Watching Brief. March 2012. (For BT Openreach)
An archaeological watching brief was requested by the Newcastle City Archaeologist to mitigate the potential impact upon the Hadrian’s Wall frontier complex, including its ditch and associated defensive features, of the installation of new cables in the pavement outside the Denton Hotel on the north side of West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne (NZ 202 654).
Accordingly, a watching brief was carried out by The Archaeological Practice Ltd. at the behest of BT Openreach during works on the 1st March 2012.
No significant cultural heritage remains were observed during the course of the BT Openreach cabling works and it is therefore concluded that no remains of cultural heritage importance were disturbed.

  Denton Hotel  
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East Moneylaws Farm, Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland. Archaeological Desk Based Assessment. May 2012. (For Mr Robin Lathangie/Madden Design and Build).
This report constitutes a desk-based cultural heritage and visual impact assessment to support a proposed wind development at East Moneylaws Farm, Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland. The assessment was undertaken by The Archaeological Practice Ltd at the request of Maden Design and Build. The report incorporates an audit of both discrete and more extensive historical landscape components and presents a synthesis of the overall chronology of the defined area. It identifies cultural heritage constraints within the area of the proposed development and makes recommendations regarding further work required to mitigate the impact of the scheme. The report also includes consideration of cultural heritage sites within a 5km radius of the development site with particular consideration given to those sites considered in the context of visual impact constraints.
It is concluded that, while Moneylaws is documented from the 13th century, human settlement in the immediate locality of the proposed development site can be assumed form the earliest periods on the basis of surviving settlement sites and find-spots in the wider vicinity. However, with the exception of a small abandoned quarry, no other sign of pre-modern settlement or land-use practices is apparent on or close to the development site.
There are no known sites of cultural heritage significance on the site of the proposed turbines or their supply routes which might act as a constraint on development. Furthermore, the survival of archaeological remains on the site of the turbines and their supply roads and service connections is likely to have been compromised by long-term intensive arable farming and, in particular, recent deep-ploughing, which have left the site devoid of earthworks or indications of pre-modern land-use, although traces of the latter may yet survive below ground. However, many sites of national, regional and local importance lie within visible range of the turbine site and may be impacted by it. It is concluded, however, that the scale of the turbines and distance from them of most of those sites means that only a handful of them are considered to be at risk of moderate or high negative visual impact. These include two listed buildings, a Scheduled iron age enclosure and a registered battlefield, all of which are of regional or national importance, with the battlefield site considered most significant in this context because of its recognised national importance, extent, visitor appeal and proximity to East Moneylaws.
It is concluded that, although no archaeological remains are known to be present within the site of direct impact, the proposed development is likely to have a negative impact on any remains that may survive wherever groundworks are carried out, and its visual presence will have a limited negative effect on the setting of heritage assets in the vicinity, most notably the Flodden Battlefield and memorial. However, it is concluded that the extent of the indirect negative impact upon heritage assets visible from the site will not be sufficient to merit recommending the abandonment or severe modification of the wind turbine scheme on cultural heritage grounds.
Accordingly, it is recommended with respect to the proposed scheme that an archaeological watching brief should be maintained on excavations associated with the siting of turbines and construction of service trenches and roads on and below Moneylaws Hill, and that, with respect to the proposed turbines themselves, every effort should be made to minimise their visual impact by acting on advice and best practice regarding their design and other potential mitigation measures.

  East Moneylaws Farm  
 
 
The Edward Eccles Hall, Earsdon, Renewable Energy Project. Archaeological Watching Brief. January 2012. (For Earsdon PCC).
An archaeological watching brief was carried out during groundworks for the installation of a biomass boiler adjacent to the Edward Eccles Church Hall, Earsdon. The work was requested by the local planning authority in order to record any finds of archaeological significance revealed during the works.
The project known as ‘Earsdon Renewable Energy’ is for a 100 KW biomass boiler to supply heat to the Edward Eccles Church Hall and the adjacent St. Alban’s Church which is 40 metres away. Heat will be supplied via a highly insulated underground pipe running under land behind the hall, across the lane leading to the cemetery, through the churchyard and into St. Alban’s.
A heritage statement on the Church Hall was produced by The Archaeological Practice Ltd. in summer 2011 along with basic photographic recording using colour digital photography. This highlighted the fact that the development area lies within the site of a medieval village, and that the proposed service pipe will cross an area on the edge of medieval or post-medieval earthworks and pass through a 19th & 20th century churchyard, the site of a medieval church.
The work carried out in January 2012 encountered no archaeological remains of significance. Within the churchyard no structures or burials were discovered other than the buried remains of an early 19th century grave or vault surround. Outside the churchyard the trench encountered topsoil and outcrops of bedrock, but no archaeological remains of any kind.
It is concluded that the work undertaken in connection with the installation of a renewable energy heating system at the rear of Eccles Hal, and its connection by pipework with the adjacent church had no negative impact upon the surviving cultural heritage of the village.
  Earsdon  
 
 

Wark on Tweed Castle, Northumberland: Options for Community Involvement and Access Improvements. June 2012. (For FLODDEN 1513 Ltd).
The present document reports on a Heritage Lottery Fund project, commissioned by Flodden 1513 Ltd., the purpose of which is to assess the current state of knowledge regarding Wark-on-Tweed castle, its accessibility for visitors and to suggest how it could be improved as a resource for the local and wider community. It is the intention of Flodden 1513 Ltd. to use this document as the basis for formulating a strategy for community-based archaeological and minor infrastructural works in the castle and village of Wark, following which further funding applications are likely to be made. The report focuses principally on the interrelated issues of, accessibility and audience development, including community involvement, and is divided into three main sections.
In Section 1, the physical and historical context of the castle is described and assessed, and details are presented of its ownership, resources and the various ways it is currently used.
Section 2 presents Audience Development and Access Plans, discussing how the castle is presently used and identifying certain barriers to certain potential audience groups. It is concluded that the current lack of public access to the castle, or interpretation of it, diminish or inhibit a local sense of pride in and understanding of the site, which in turn means that it is not used as well as it could be to foster a sense of community identity or attract visitors to the area. Furthermore, academic understanding of the site also remains relatively poor, in part because of access constraints, and this also militates against public interpretation. The outer precincts of the castle are accessible, however, and the present village sits largely within the outer ward to the east of the castle, presenting potential for fostering relations between the site and the resident community. A survey of community members in the local and wider area indicates that the great majority favour improving access to the castle and that many would welcome the opportunity to be directly involved in this process. Following this analysis, options for improving access are suggested which focus on a phased plan for community engagement to involve local people in research which enhances their skills whilst adding to the pool of knowledge about the history of the castle and village. This will inform proposals – set out in Section 2.3 of the report - for improvements to physical and intellectual access provision for the local community and visitors.
Section 3 provides a summary of the proposals outlined in Section 2, presenting them as broad-scale recommendations, to be carried out in phases for optimum benefit. Outline indicative costings for the main elements of the work proposed are also provided.
Supporting historical and other information is provided in the form of appendices, including the results of surveys carried out in Wark and neighboring settlements which form the basis for many of the recommendation provided.

  Wark Castle  
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Fox and Hounds, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne. Archaeological Watching Brief. May 2012. (For BT Openreach).
An archaeological watching brief was requested by the Tyne and Wear County Archaeologist to mitigate the potential impact of the excavation of a trench to install 2 x 100mm ducts from an existing manhole to the position of a new box, outside the Fox and Hounds PH on Westgate Road (NZ 214 649).
No significant cultural heritage remains were observed during the course of the BT Openreach cabling works and it is therefore concluded that no remains of cultural heritage importance were disturbed.

  Fox and Hounds  
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Friar House, Clavering Place, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Archaeological Watching Brief and Phase 2 Building Recording.
September 2012.
(For MAWSON KERR, Architecture & Sustainability).
In April 2012 an archaeological watching brief and recording exercise was requested by the Tyne and Wear Specialist Conservation Team to mitigate the impact of groundworks associated with the proposed conversion of Friar House, a grade 2 listed property, into a 10 bed hotel with ancillary bar and restaurant. The site lies within the Central Conservation Area of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The only previous archaeological work on the building was conducted in 2008 by Archaeo-Environment Ltd, who carried out a ‘Historic Buildings Assessment and Survey’. The proposed development was assessed as having low impact, providing the works were sympathetic and looked to restore existing original features.
The site lies within the medieval town walls of Newcastle upon Tyne, close to the precinct of the Carmelite Friary/Friars of the Sack (White Friars). Furthermore the site lies within the Roman vicus of Pons Aelius Roman Fort and potentially within the extent of the associated cemetery. Accordingly, an archaeological watching brief requested by the Tyne and Wear Specialist Conservation Team was conducted by The Archaeological Practice Ltd. at the behest of the developers of the property, Mawson Kerr Architecture and Sustainability.
The aims of the watching brief and recording exercise were to identify and determine the character of any remains uncovered during further structural works on the building, particularly its interior, as well as during related external and internal groundworks on the site, and to make an appropriate record of such finds by photographic and other means.
Two trenches were positioned immediately in front of and parallel to the western elevation of Friar House, over areas formerly used as light recesses for the windows of the basement level, and being separated by the main entranceway steps.
The archaeological evidence indicated that the late c.18th Georgian house was built upon the foundations of an earlier building, constructed in sandstone. In the southern portion of the western elevation, this earlier sandstone wall was observed to stand for seven courses, a maximum height of 1.30m. A sandstone wall, surmounted with later brick and extending SW from Friar House, could relate to an early boundary wall of possible multiple phases. It is thought likely that the sandstone foundation walls could relate to a building(s) occupying this plot before the construction of Friar House in the 1790s. Medieval pottery observed within the trenches, is highly suggestive of later medieval domestic occupation on the site, perhaps associated with the Carmelite Friary/Friars of the Sack (White Friars), just to the west of the site.
Considering the high potential for significant archaeological deposits to exist in the area, it is recommended that any future work should be considered on its own merits with respect to the need for archaeological intervention.
  Friar House  
         
 

Former Freight Depot, Gateshead. Archaeological Watching Brief.
June 2012.
(For Gateshead Council).
Archaeological monitoring was conducted on the site of a former freight depot in east Gateshead (NZ 263 630) during the excavation of 18 trial pits in order to mitigate any damage to potential archaeological remains on the site in accordance with a Brief supplied by the Tyne and Wear Archaeological Officer.
This scheme of work follows geotechnical investigations in 2004 and an archaeological desk-based assessment in 2009. The assessment revealed that the site lies close to a Roman road and was used in the medieval period as a forested hunting park. From the late 17th century the area was developed for coal working and a number of waggonways were created – some cutting across the proposed development site. In 1839 the Brandling Junction Railway was opened and a massive set of sidings and engine shed were created on the development site. The freight depot replaced the sidings in the 1960s and was demolished early in the 21st century.
Geotechnical investigations carried out by machine trenching in June 2012 revealed made ground to depths of between three and five metres, the greatest depths being in the northern corner of the site. Excavations across the projected paths of two eighteenth century waggonways revealed no structural remains. The only finds of human origin made during the excavations were of materials and features dating from the 19th century or later.
It is concluded that no significant archaeological features or deposits were disturbed during the groundworks on the site and that there is only a low to moderate likelihood that any significant remains pre-dating the mid-19th century survive there. The depth of overburden upon the pre-Industrial land surface, together with the level of disturbance caused by the use of the site by the railways from the mid-19th century does not support a recommendation for further evaluation or intensive watching brief during proposed development works. However, an intermittent watching brief, carried out in close liaison with the developer and focusing on the locations of specific features of concern, would be appropriate in order to record any sub-surface features and infill deposits found to survive within the site.

  Freight Depot  
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Gore Hall, Thornley, Co. Durham. Historic Building Record.
September 2012.
(For Durham County Council).
A programme of building recording has been carried out in advance of, as well as during, the demolition of Gore Hall farmhouse and associated, redundant farm buildings in Thornley, County Durham. The work has been requested by Durham County Archaeologist.
The photographic recording was undertaken in February 2012 using colour digital photography. In addition, a measured plan of the buildings has been produced and annotated to show historic phasing, and an attempt has been made to research the history of the building through locally available historic maps and records. A second phase of recording was undertaken during the demolition of the farmhouse and farm-buildings complex, which was undertaken in May and June 2012.
The survey report concludes that Gore Hall farmhouse is clearly of considerable antiquity, but has been so extensively altered that virtually all earlier features have been lost. Its rubble walls, without cut quoins, are broadly similar to those of Rock Farm in nearby Wheatley Hill, a house of 16th century or earlier date, so it could be of late medieval or sub-medieval origin. The central part of the range has the thickest walls and early, perhaps 16th or 17th century very thin bricks in its chimney stacks, and is clearly the earliest part of the structure; the western bay and rear outshut may not be much later, whereas the thin-walled eastern bay may be of the early 19th century.
The Gore Hall farm buildings which survived until 2012 were a large part of a group that once extended some distance further to the east. The buildings were in poor condition, having been abandoned for some time, and retained little in the way of dateable features, but were in part of some antiquity. In particular the long narrow barn (building 'H') could have been of medieval or sub-medieval origin, although very much altered. On the west side of the barn was a round-ended engine house of later origin, but with some local interest attached to it. The buildings to the east of the long barn 'H' survived into the mid-20th century, when they were either replaced or rebuilt as part of a new housing development.
The Gore Hall farm buildings which survived until 2012 were a large part of a multi-phase group that once extended some distance further to the east. The buildings were in poor condition, having been abandoned for some time, and retained little in the way of dateable features, but were in part of some antiquity. In particular the long narrow barn (building 'H') could have been of medieval or sub-medieval origin, although very much altered. On the west side of the barn was a round-ended engine house of later origin, but with some local interest attached to it. The buildings to the east of the long barn 'H' survived into the mid-20th century, when they were either replaced or rebuilt as part of a new housing development.
It is concluded that the demolition of Gore Hall represents a significant loss to the village of Thornley and the East Durham region, being the only building of any antiquity, as well as the only farm complex, in the modern village of Thornley, and one of only a handful of pre-19th century buildings known to survive locally.

  Gore Hall  
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Gosforth Magistrates Court, Newcastle upon Tyne. Historic Building Recording. November 2012. (For Adamson Developments (WEST AVE) Ltd).
This report constitutes an historic building record of Gosforth Magistrates Court, which stands on the south side of West Avenue, Gosforth, and was built in 1892. The buildings recording exercise was undertaken by The Archaeological Practice Ltd. for Adamson Developments (WEST AVE) Ltd. in advance of proposed redevelopment, and conforms to a verbal Brief provided by the Tyne and Wear Specialist Conservation Team.
In addition to carrying out a photographic record of the buildings and providing current and historic ground plans, elevations and photographs, a written descriptive report has also been produced on the history and current appearance of the building. Historic plans and documents indicate that the building was originally built as Assembly Rooms in 1892, to the design of the architect, W.G. Newcombe, and was subject to minor modifications in 1894. However, in or before 1906 it had become an army Drill Hall, and in this role was subject to further modifications in 1924 and 1952, by which time it was occupied by The Northumberland Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association. The 1924 modifications involved substantial changes to the appearance of the front elevation. In 1969 it was subject to a final episode of substantial alterations in order to convert it from a Territorial Army base to a magistrate’s court.
The report concludes that, although the main north frontage of the building – a 1920s remodelling of the original 1892 façade - contributes positively to the character and appearance of West Avenue, it is smaller in scale than the neighbouring properties and of an architectural language that is not prevalent in the street due to the substantial alterations it has undergone. The only other visible frontage of the building, bordering Back Lane on its east side, may be regarded as “neutral” with respect to its impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. The internal layout of the building belongs to a different, later phase of the history of the building and offers little of architectural merit or historic interest.

  Gosforth Magistrates Court  
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Field North of Greenhaugh Farm, Greenhaugh, Northumberland.
Archaeological Assessment. August 2012. (For Mr. Alistair Murray).
This report constitutes a desk based cultural heritage assessment for the proposed development of a field on the north-west side of the village of Greenhaugh, in Northumberland National Park. The assessment, undertaken by The Archaeological Practice Ltd at the request of Mr Alistair Murray, incorporates an audit of both discrete and more extensive historical landscape components and presents a synthesis of the overall chronology of the defined area. The assessment identifies cultural heritage constraints within the area of the proposed development and makes recommendations regarding the work required to mitigate the impact of the scheme.
The report collates evidence from a wide range of sources, including historic maps, secondary historical works, excavation reports and the Northumberland National Park Authority (NNPA) Heritage Environment Record (HER). A site visit was also undertaken in August 2012. This process has resulted in the identification of a total of 36 sites and monuments within and in the vicinity of proposed development, providing direct and contextual information regarding the archaeological and historical development of the site.
It is concluded that while there is no known evidence of prehistoric, Roman or medieval settlement or intensive land-use within the bounds of the assessment area, the position and topography of the site suggests that some level of activity during all periods can be assumed. Two likely late prehistoric settlements are recorded within 500m of the site boundaries. Evidence for post-medieval coal-mining is recorded in the form of mine shafts, and intensifying farming practices of the same period are evidenced by Enclosure-period field boundaries and by structures within the village.
The only known site of cultural heritage significance known to survive within, bordering or in the immediate vicinity of the proposed development is an area of well-defined rig & furrow to the west of the assessment site, which is regarded as of local importance.
The proposed development will remove any surviving archaeological remains in areas subject to deep excavations, and is likely to impact negatively on any remains in other areas used for site support and subsequently subject to landscaping. It is recommended that further evaluation of the archaeological potential of the site should take place.

  Greenhaugh Farm  
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Recording and analysis of erosion damage at Harehaugh hill-fort in northumberland, 1994 to 2012.
January 2012. (For Northumberland National Park).
In 1993 the Northumberland National Park Authority recognised that the ramparts of Harehaugh hillfort were suffering from extensive degradation from rabbits and sheep scraping, leading to their collapse and the partial infilling of ditches. Accordingly, a draft Management Plan for the site was produced by the NNPA archaeologist, Mr Paul Frodsham which assessed the current condition of the site and set out proposals for its future management (Frodsham 1993). The proposed management initiatives included survey and limited excavation work in order to assess the degree of damage being caused by erosion, particularly by rabbits. Several of these proposals, including an attempt to record the extent of erosion, and measures to control both rabbits and bracken were carried out.
A number of options for the management and preservation of the site have been discussed. All potential solutions are problematic, not least because of the continuing management required following initial investment. Bearing this in mind, and given the likely continued use of the site as part of a shooting estate with secondary sheep and cattle grazing, the favoured option for management of the archaeological resource is selective restoration followed by protective ground netting. This option would require least ongoing management following an intensive period of works which could, if required, be carried out in stages covering discrete parts of the site. It is observed that the netting of the sites of infilled excavation trenches back-filled in Summer 2002 has been entirely successful in excluding rabbits; in early 2012 the mesh remained fully intact and the areas it covers stand out within rampart sides otherwise peppered with rabbit holes and scar faces.

  Harehaugh Hillfort  
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Hexham Priory, Hexham, Northumberland. Archaeological Assessment.
July 2012.
(For Hexham Abbey Heritage).
The present document provides a report on a baseline cultural heritage assessment undertaken by The Archaeological Practice Ltd for the Priory and Parish Church of St Andrew. The process of assessment involved examination of historic maps, documents, published histories and the County Historic Environment Record (HER), as well as consideration of the results of previous archaeological investigations and on-site consultation with established authorities on the archaeology and building remains of the Abbey, including Eric Cambridge, Alan Williams and Peter Ryder.
Based on the information collected, a synthesis of the overall chronology of the defined area is presented, followed by a consideration of the likely archaeological potential of each of the proposed sites of development. On the basis of the above, conclusions are provided regarding the archaeological potential of each of the proposed development sites, and an outline provided of the consequent cultural heritage impact of the scheme. Finally, the report provides recommendations for investigative evaluation work in advance of development works in places where it is considered necessary in order to clarify areas of uncertainty regarding the nature and significance of the archaeological resource.
The main findings of the assessment is, broadly, that the archaeological potential of the proposed development site is very high, being sited entirely within a Scheduled Area designed to protect remains of internationally important early medieval, Norman and later medieval origin. Since none of the sites of proposed development are known to have been significantly disturbed by modern developments, it is considered highly likely that remains of very considerable archaeological significance will be revealed or disturbed by the proposed works in all parts of the site.
In order to determine the character, state of survival and depth of sub-surface archaeological remains in previously-unexplored areas proposed for development, it is recommended that archaeological evaluation by means of excavation should be carried out prior to development works within four of the five defined sites. It is suggested that an alternative strategy for Site B (where disturbance to very shallow depths is proposed within the north-west corner of the nave) would be to mitigate the impact of development by means of a carefully-controlled watching brief, and that this strategy might also be considered elsewhere if there are serious practical impediments to evaluation. It is also recommended in the event that no significant finds are made during evaluation, excavation should proceed to the full extent and depth required for purposes of development out in order to remove the risk of encountering nationally-important archaeological remains during the main phase of building works.

  Hexham Priory  
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Hill Street, Corbridge, Northumberland.
Archaeological Watching Brief.
May 2012.

(For Northumberland County Council).

Archaeological monitoring was conducted on Hill Street, Corbridge, Northumberland during May 2012 in order to mitigate any damage to potential archaeological remains on the site during excavations during drainage work by Northumberland County Council.
Two trenches were excavated on either side of Hill Street each contained a disturbed clay/silt, with Trench 2 reaching a depth of 1.1m bgl revealing natural alluvium.
No archaeological features, deposits or finds were noted during the archaeological watching brief.

  Hill Street  
         
 

 

Little Walwick, Humshaugh, Northumberland.
Archaeological Watching Brief.
February 2012.

(For Mr and Mrs Hoult).

An archaeological watching brief was carried out during the excavation of two drainage trenches to the rear of buildings at Little Walwick, Humshaugh during conversion work to the dwellings.
The site lies immediately north of Hadrian’s Wall. Due to the archaeologically sensitive nature of the area, a watching brief was requested by the Northumberland County Council Assistant Archaeologist.
The trenches were excavated to depths between 0.8-1.6m but revealed no archaeological features or finds. The area appeared to have been previously disturbed, possibly landscaped when the houses were built.
No further work is recommended with regard to this scheme.

  Little Walwick  
 
 

Mandela Way, Dunston, Gateshead. Archaeological Assessment.
February 2012.
(For UK Land Estates Partnership Ltd).
This report constitutes a desk-based cultural heritage assessment for the proposed re-development of a vacant site on the east side of Mandela Way, Gateshead. The assessment was undertaken by The Archaeological Practice Ltd at the request of Nathanial Litchfield and Partners on behalf of UK Land Estates Partnership Ltd. The report incorporates an audit of both discrete and more extensive historical landscape components and presents a synthesis of the overall chronology of the defined area. It identifies cultural heritage constraints within the area of the proposed development and makes recommendations regarding further work required to mitigate the impact of the scheme.
The report concludes that there is no evidence for land-use on the site prior to the post-medieval period, although finds from the wider vicinity attest to human activity in the vicinity from early prehistory onwards and medieval sources attest to the growing size and importance of Newcastle, Gateshead and their associated villages in the lower Tyne valley from the later 12th century. It is known that coal mining and transport in the area increased from the 13th century, and along with it population levels locally, although there is no evidence from historic maps or other sources that the site itself was developed in any way other than for farming purposes until the 1830s when a railway was built across it, soon followed by a parallel trackway along the riverside. Subsequently, little change is apparent until a major industrial development which occurred in the late 19th century, comprising an Oil, Grease and Candle factory and associated roadways and railway branch lines. Following the gradual removal of these buildings and the adjacent power station from the mid-20th century, the site gradually reverted wasteland, but may in the process have been subject to episodes of landscaping which have changed its profile.
The proposed development is likely to have a negative impact on any surviving archaeological remains. However, the only structure or feature known to have been present and likely to be impacted by development is the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway Redheugh Branch of 1837, an early railway significant as the first passenger railway built to provide passenger facilities at intermediate stations. Any remains pre-dating the Industrial Period, including prehistoric flint scatters or medieval field boundaries, would be likely to be of some local and perhaps regional significance, although residual potential exists for more important random finds to be made wherever undisturbed pre-modern buried surfaces survive.
The industrialisation of this site in the later 19th and early 20th centuries is likely to have had a negative impact upon earlier remains of potential archaeological significance, particularly where building foundations and other invasive features have been constructed. Therefore, the early 19th century railway lines and any earlier features or finds will survive only in areas of the site left relatively undisturbed by such developments. The potential impact of landscaping prior to and following phases of intensive development is potentially destructive or protective; the latter scenario is the one most likely to have led to the preservation of parts of the course of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, Redheugh Branch, and any older remains on the site.
Based on the conclusions of the report, is recommended that the potential of the site should be evaluated by excavation in order to determine the presence, character and survival of sub-surface remains of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway Redheugh Branch. Such an excavation will also serve to sample the site for earlier remains and provide a profile of the original riverbank, thereby indicating the likely depths of pre-20th century buried remains elsewhere on the site. It is recommended that evaluation should take place in the north part of the site by cutting a 20 metre long trench across the course of the former railway line.

  Mandela Way  
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Land west of A1 Industrial Trucks Ltd, Shelley Road, Newburn, Newcastle upon Tyne. Archaeological Evaluation.
July 2012.
(For A1 Industrial Trucks Ltd).
Archaeological evaluation by excavation was conducted on an area of land (centred on Grid Reference NZ 166 651) approximately 0.8ha in extent, on the north bank of the river Tyne some 200m south-east of Newburn village centre. The evaluation commenced in July 2012 in order to investigate the archaeological potential of the site, in accordance with a Brief supplied by the Tyne and Wear Archaeological Officer.
A research assessment of the site, undertaken by The Archaeological Practice in 2006, informed that the north side of the site may have been subject to the partial encroachment of medieval plot divisions, but otherwise appeared to have been used for agricultural purposes until railway sidings, a goods shed and associated features were built south of the line of the existing Wylam wagonway (which had been built adjacent to the northern boundary of the site in 1748) to serve a steelworks. In order to enable the construction of these features the site appears to have been raised by the dumping of industrial waste within an area enclosed from the river by an embankment.
The assessment concluded that, while there is no evidence of any archaeologically significant sites of regional or national importance within the assessment area, the possibility remains that unknown objects, features or deposits may survive there, potentially preserved by deposits of made ground. On the basis of these conclusions, it was recommended that a programme of archaeological excavation should be carried out to test for the existence of and evaluate the nature and importance of any archaeological features or materials lying below the current ground surface of the site.
Accordingly, in compliance with a brief supplied by the assistant county archaeologist for Tyne and Wear, two evaluation trenches, measuring 15m x 2m and 18m x 2m, both aligned north-south, were excavated on site..The trenches revealed made ground of mixed materials, largely of industrial origin, sitting upon the natural clay which was encountered at a maximum depth of 2.20m. No archaeological remains of significance were revealed in either of the trenches.

  Newburn  
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The Former Newburn Hotel, Station Road, Newburn, Newcastle upon Tyne. Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording.
August 2012. (For Nicholson Nairn Architects).
The present document provides a report on a baseline cultural heritage assessment and building recording undertaken by The Archaeological Practice Ltd for the proposed redevelopment of the Newburn Hotel with associated coach house and stables, and the construction of three new houses in the hotel garden (immediately to the west). The report incorporates an audit of both discrete and more extensive historical landscape components and presents a synthesis of the overall chronology of the defined area. Based on this assessment, consideration has been given to providing recommendations for evaluation and mitigation work in advance of development works.
In addition to site visits, the assessment involved an examination of historic maps and documentary records for the area, consultation of published local and regional histories, consideration of the results of previous archaeological and consultation and synthesis of data held by the County Historic Environment Record (HER).
On the basis of the above, conclusions are provided regarding the extent and significance of the archaeological remains in the development area, and an outline provided of the consequent cultural heritage impact of the scheme. Finally, the report identifies areas where further investigative evaluation is considered necessary in order to clarify areas of uncertainty regarding the nature and significance of the archaeological resource.
The archaeological potential of the proposed development site is considered to be moderate. While it is certain that prehistoric hunting and farming communities were present in the area for millennia and may have used the assessment site for various purposes intermittently, no direct evidence for the use of the site as anything other than farmland occurs until early maps suggest that some encroachment of back plots associated with medieval or post-medieval properties may have occurred in the southern part of the area. The site also lies just outside (north of) the designated boundary of the Battle of Newburn Ford (1746), although no specific finds associated with the battle have been found in the immediate vicinity. Subsequently, the first known development within the site occurs in the late 19th century, with the construction of the existing Newburn Hotel and associated out-buildings in 1894. Ostensibly the site has remained relatively unchanged until present day.
It is unlikely that any archaeologically sensitive features or materials survive in the positions of existing modern structures, but it is feasible that remains pre-dating the hotel, may survive within the garden and yard to the west and north of the site.
It is recommended that evaluation should be carried out by means of archaeological trenching positioned in the areas to be affected by the construction of the three proposed new houses. The purpose of evaluation will be to test for the existence of and evaluate the nature and importance of any archaeological features or materials lying below the current ground surface of the site.
It is not recommended that any evaluation of the existing buildings should be implemented.

  Newburn Hotel  
         
 
Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne. Archaeological Watching Brief.
April 2012.
(For Cable and Wireless/North Midland Construction).
An archaeological watching brief was requested by the Newcastle City Archaeologist to mitigate the potential impact on Hadrian’s Wall and its ditch, which it was considered could result from the installation of new fibre optic cables outside the Royal Station Hotel.
No significant cultural heritage remains were observed during the course of the fibre optic cable laying works and it is therefore concluded that no remains of cultural heritage importance were disturbed.
  Royal Station Hotel  
         
 

 

St. Nicolas’ Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Archaeological trial pits.
February 2012.
(For St. Nicolas’ Cathedral).

A series of archaeological trial pits were excavated, and portions of the flagged sandstone floor recorded in February 2012 at the request of the Tyne and Wear County Archaeologist.

The work was carried out before a proposed re-ordering of the Cathedral interior.

Careful recording and excavation work revealed the under-floor space of the Cathedral nave to be honeycombed with early nineteenth century burial vaults and later heating ducts.

  St. Nicolas' Cathedral  
         
 
Northumberland Park, Tynemouth. Archaeological Evaluation.
February 2012.
(For North Tyneside Council).
A community-based archaeological evaluation project was conducted at Northumberland Park, Tynemouth in June and July 2011 in order to investigate the archaeological potential of the site in accordance with a Brief supplied by the Tyne and Wear Archaeological Officer, itself based on a desk based assessment and geophysical survey carried out earlier in 2011.
The aims of the excavation were to determine whether the remains of the medieval hospital of St. Leonard, known from documentary historic map evidence to have been present there, survived below ground and, if so, to record their character and state of preservation. The excavation was also intended to inform proposals for more extensive archaeological work as part of North Tyneside Council’s wider ‘Parks for People’ enhancement project.
A total of seven trenches were excavated within the site. The majority (Trenches 1, 3-5 and 7) were arranged in a line running east-west along the summit of the ridge between the two branches of the Pow Burn where the remains of St Leonard’s hospital were thought most likely to have been located (and, indeed, where they were indicated on the second edition Ordnance Survey plan following the establishment of the Park in 1885). The two other trenches were located further north on the site of the 19th-century Park Cottage (Trench 2), and at the bottom of the east-facing slope of the main Spital Dene valley, next to the pathway leading north to King Edward Road (Trench 6). The trenches were positioned to examine potentially significant geophysical anomalies noted during the magnetometry and resistivity surveys, or to expose building remains visible as earthworks at the west end of the range indicated on the second edition Ordnance Survey plan.
All trenches were excavated by hand to the depth of significant archaeological deposits by Friends of Northumberland Park and other members of the local community under the direction and supervision of professional archaeologists from Newcastle City Council and The Archaeological Practice Ltd.
The most substantial remains uncovered by the archaeological evaluation were those of the rectangular building revealed in Trench 1. These clearly represented the western end of the range of structures first exposed in 1885 and shown on the historic Ordnance Survey maps, which have generally been interpreted as the remains of St Leonard’s hospital. The building appears to follow an east-west alignment similar to the remains shown further to the east and appropriate for a medieval religious building. However, its relatively crude construction and the possibility that its flagged floor incorporated a reused 15th century burial monument argue against it one of the principal components of the medieval hospital. These remains might, however, conceivably represent an ancillary building of the hospital, perhaps retained after the dissolution in 1536-9 and modified by the laying of a flagged floor incorporating some material from the demolished chapel.
In the area directly to the east of Trench 1, investigated by means of Trenches 4, 5 and 7, such stonework as survived appeared to be dressed in a manner more consistent with medieval masonry. However the structural remains were so fragmentary it was difficult to associate them with the confidently drawn walls shown on the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey plan, although the line of flags and worked blocks across the middle of Trench 7 appears to correspond to one of the walls depicted.
A near complete skeleton (SK06) was also found in Trench 4, but at very shallow depth. Like the poor preservation of the structural remains and the presence of outcropping bedrock in Trench 4, the shallow depth of this burial implies that the archaeological levels in this central part of the site may have been substantially truncated at some stage.
Several burials were located at the eastern end of the site in Trench 3, in addition to the example uncovered in Trench 4, next to the presumed site of the hospital buildings whilst two stone coffins were reportedly found midway between these two zones in the 1880s. However no evidence was found to determine whether the burials found in 2011 were originally interred during the life of the hospital or during the post-dissolution history of the site as a continuing burial ground. The full extent of the medieval and early modern burial ground, its spatial evolution and changing pattern of use over time remain unclear.
The remains of Park Cottage were located in the form of the main south-east wall and external surfaces, but little trace of any internal features survived. There was no evidence for significant structural remains in Trench 6 nearer to the site of the original Spital bridge.
A number of recommendations for further investigation are made, focussing on further exploration of the building revealed in Trench 1, more work to define the extent and evolution of the medieval and early modern burial ground, and additional trenching in the unexplored areas adjacent to the known hospital site.
  Northumberland Park, Tynemouth  
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Park Terrace, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Archaeological Evaluation. October 2012. (For Newcastle University).
This document reports on a programme of archaeological evaluation trenching conducted in October 2012, to investigate the archaeological potential of a site at Park Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne (centred on Grid Reference NZ 2478 6535) in advance of redevelopment. The evaluation programme comprised of the excavation of five trenches, distributed across the development site and covering an overall area of some 88m².
Historical research conducted in advance of the fieldwork revealed that the development site remained as open fields, owned by the Mary Magdalene Hospital until the mid-late 1870s when Park Terrace was constructed. The area may have been used as a burial ground for the hospital although it is more likely that it was used as a cemetery for plague victims; St. James’ Chapel (formerly on the site of the Great North Museum) and its grounds were used as a refugee camp for the townspeople during plague outbreaks.
The evaluation uncovered the remains of wall foundations belonging to buildings associated with Park Terrace at depths of around 0.28m beneath modern demolition deposits. Below these, a series of linear, sandstone rubble drains were encountered across the development site and appeared to respect the north-south alignment of the overlying buildings of Park Terrace. The drains were likely to date to the period immediately before the construction of Park Terrace in the 1870s. A patch of sandstone rubble observed in the north portion of Trench 1 may be associated with surplus stone utilized for drainage works and landscaping prior to the construction of Park Terrace. The similarity of this rubble-spread to the stone pieces incorporated in the drains suggests a contemporaneous date.
A deposit of loam-based soil, encountered at the same depth as the aforementioned rubble, contained later-medieval to early-modern sherds of pottery alongside disturbed fragments of human bone, including cranial remains. It is suggested that this layer of soil is almost certainly re-deposited, extracted from a nearby location and used to make-up/level the ground during the landscaping process prior to the construction of Park Terrace. It is suggested that the most likely origin of this re-deposited soil was one of the nearby medieval cemeteries associated with the Chapel of St. James; both the Chapel and the nearby land occupying Park Terrace were owned by the Mary Magdalene Hospital. The chapel was demolished and cleared in the 1870s, at around the same time as the construction of Park Terrace, to make way for the new Hancock Museum, constructed in 1878.
Due to the disturbed nature of the land and the lack of structural archaeology within the Park Terrace evaluation site, no further evaluation or archaeological excavation work is recommended in association with this development scheme. However, given the potential for significant archaeological deposits to exist in the area, it is recommended that an archaeological watching brief should be carried out during groundworks on the site, particularly in the area of the extensions to the rear of Kensington Terrace.

  Park Terrace  
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Racecourse Estate, Hall Lane, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland.
Archaeological Evaluation, Phase 4.
September 2012.
(For Gentoohomes).
The fourth phase in a process of archaeological evaluation trenching was conducted in September 2012 ahead of a housing development on land at Racecourse Estate, Hall Lane, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland (centred on Grid Reference NZ 34547 49478), located on the east side of Houghton-le-Spring.
Archaeological trenching was requested by the Tyne and Wear County Archaeologist, due to the proximity of the site to the medieval village of Houghton-le-Spring (just to the west), and because the site lies within the grounds of Houghton Hall, a c.17th manor house and grade II listed building.
An archaeological evaluation trench was required to investigate the character, nature, date, depth, degree of survival of archaeological deposits and structures in the ground which will be disturbed by the construction work.
The evaluation trench investigated a triangular green area of land at the south end of the development site, immediately north of Queensway, east of Hall Lane and south of Normandy Crescent. The single phase 4 evaluation trench was aligned east-west, and measured 11.70 metres (length) x 1.50 metres (width) x 0.35m (maximum depth).
The evaluation trench revealed a disturbed mix of shallow industrial deposits (02) beneath the topsoil, associated with waste from the coal industry. The coal waste sat directly upon the natural sandy-clay (03). No archaeological remains were observed within the trench.
The evaluation concluded that any archaeological remains formerly existing within the trench are likely to have been removed by truncation, either from activities associated with the local coal industry or perhaps during C20 construction and landscaping associated with the recently demolished buildings on the site.
Due to the negative results of this evaluation, no further work is recommended as part of this scheme, although any future works in the immediate vicinity should be considered on their own merits with respect to the need for archaeological intervention.

  Racecourse Estate  
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Rebellion House, Callerton, Northumberland. Historic Building Recording and Watching Brief. March 2012. (For Elborn Design).
A programme of archaeological investigation was carried out to further inform a proposal to conserve, renew and convert to residential use Rebellion House bastle in High Callerton.
The work has been requested by Northumberland County Council Conservation Team (NCCCT) given the archaeological sensitivity of the site. The investigations included an historic building record and an archaeological watching brief.
The photographic and measured recording was undertaken in June 2010 followed by an archaeological watching brief during internal alterations and groundworks as part of the development.
Rebellion House contains many features which establish it as a characteristic bastle, or defensible farmhouse, of the late 16th or early 17th century. Its precise construction date s unknown, but it is almost certainly the oldest building in the hamlet of High Callerton, and is significant regionally, because it is an example of a bastle far from the uplands and close to the urban fringe of Newcastle, and nationally because it is one of a small, distinct and quite unique group of such structures in the Border counties.
Although altered, Rebellion House is a conventional bastle in all respects except for its door positions, the usual gable-end position of byre door and side-wall position of upper door being reversed; its most notable feature is its first-floor fireplace. The house was probably remodelled for ground floor occupation in the 1660s or 1670s, but subsequently re-adapted as a farm building when a large cart entrance was inserted in the north. This was blocked up when the house was remodelled yet again around the middle of the 20th century, when many structural changes were implemented.
Groundworks internally and externally to the rear of the bastle revealed little of note and few, if any, finds of pottery or other artifacts predating the mid-19th century. Clearance of the floor of the bastle revealed a rough sandstone floor, derived from crushed loose stones or bedrock, while excavations to the rear revealed bedrock at depths between 0.2-1.1m, which, especially in the north part of the site sat directly below topsoil, suggesting fairly recent quarrying activity contemporary with and/or after the date of construction of the bastle.
It is concluded that all the significant structural details of the bastle were preserved during its renovation and that no significant archaeological remains were disturbed by foundation trenching for a new build to the rear, or during associated landscaping and service trenching works.
  Rebellion House  
         
 
2 Roman Way, Denton, Newcastle upon Tyne. Archaeological Evaluation.
July 2012.
(For Mr Brian Iley).
Archaeological evaluation by excavation was conducted on the site of 2 Roman Way, Denton, on 17th July 2012 in order to investigate the archaeological potential of the site in accordance with a brief supplied by the Tyne and Wear Archaeologist. The work was requested ahead of the re-construction of the main property on the site, which will extend further south than the present structure and could possibly occasion disturbance of the remains of the defensive ditch of Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO world heritage site.
A single trench, measuring 6.0m x 2.0m, was excavated across the site during the evaluation, and revealed deposits of a disturbed, industrial nature extending to the natural clay levels, a maximum depth of 1m within the trench. No archaeological features were observed during the excavation.
It was concluded that the Hadrian’s Wall defensive ditch and its associated features, were not disturbed by the groundworks carried out as part of this evaluation, and the likelihood is that all archaeological remains were removed from the site during previous site works associated with the development of modern housing and earlier industrial activity.
Due to the negative results of this evaluation, therefore, no further work is recommended as part of this scheme, although any future works in the immediate vicinity should be considered on their own merits with respect to the need for archaeological intervention.
  Roman Way  
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St. Peter’s Church, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.
Archaeological Watching Brief.
September 2012.
(For P.C.C. of St. Peter’s Monkwearmouth).
This document reports on a process of archaeological monitoring conducted on 4th September 2012 in the grounds of St. Peter’s Church (centred on Grid Reference NZ 40203 57769) in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland (Illus. 01-02). The purpose of the watching brief was to monitor works associated with the excavation of a new services trench across the churchyard, for the installation of gas pipes. The site was considered to be of potential archaeological interest due to its association with St. Peter’s church, a site of national historic importance. Accordingly, an archaeological watching brief was requested by the Tyne and Wear Archaeological Officer during the excavation of the new gas services trench.
A single narrow trench was excavated across the south-eastern side of the churchyard on the same line as an existing, earlier gas service from the 1970s, aligned northwest-southeast, from a gas main found at the junction of the northeast corner of the church and southwest corner of the modern extension to the church (see Illus. 03-08). The trench measured 45m (length) x 0.25m (width) x 0.45m (max depth).
It was concluded that no significant archaeological features or deposits were disturbed during the groundworks on the site. Due to the careful positioning of the trench, the excavations did not penetrate beneath the existing gas services commissioned in the 1970s.
It is recommended that no further archaeological monitoring is required during this phase of groundworks. However, considering the high potential for significant archaeological deposits to exist in the area, any future work should be considered on its own merits with respect to the need for archaeological intervention.

  St. Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth  
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Former Gas Board Offices, Hind Street, Sunderland.
Archaeological Assessment and Historic Building Recording.
July 2012.
(For GBDS and the University of Sunderland).
This report constitutes a revised desk-based cultural heritage assessment of an area of land occupied by various 19th and 20th century buildings on and behind the former Hind Street, Sunderland. An historic buildings record is included as part of the assessment report. The original assessment was undertaken by The Archaeological Practice Ltd. in 2007 at the request of Gleeds Management Services on behalf of Wilson Bowden Developments, as part of work preliminary to the redevelopment of the area for Sunderland University. This report has been revised at the request of Faulkner Browns architects on behalf of GB Development Solutions Ltd. and the University of Sunderland ahead of two inter-related planning applications:
Full planning application proposing the demolition of existing buildings, erection of a 125-bedroom hotel, external refurbishment works to the Grade II Listed former Gas Board office building with associated public realm and landscaping arrangements.
An application for Listed Building Consent proposing part-demolition of the Grade II Listed former Gas board office building and internal and external alterations including fenestration and façade works.
The purpose of the assessment report is to identify cultural heritage constraints within the area of the proposed development and makes recommendations regarding the work required to mitigate the impact of the proposed development scheme upon significant archaeological remains.
The report collates evidence from a wide range of sources, including site visits, historic maps, secondary historical works, excavation reports and the Tyne and Wear Heritage Environment Record (HER). This work has resulted in the identification of a total of 7 sites and monuments bordering or in the vicinity of the proposed development, as well 78 in the wider vicinity which provide contextual information regarding the archaeological and historical development of the area. On the basis of the above, conclusions are provided regarding the extent and significance of the archaeological remains in the development area, and an outline provided of the consequent cultural heritage impact of the scheme.
The proposed development site is situated on the outskirts of the presumed early medieval settlement of Bishopwearmouth in an area of reasonably high archaeological potential with respect to the early medieval and medieval periods. Historic map and documentary evidence suggests that the site was largely absent of structures or other built features until the early 19th century, and it was not until the mid-19th century that it became fully developed, with the town gas works sited there from c.1846, subsequently expanding with the addition of offices in the early 20th century.
It is concluded that, while there is no direct evidence that the site was developed earlier than the early 19th century, its topographical and contextual position in close association with St Michael’s church mean that it may have been occupied or used during earlier periods. Furthermore, amongst the surviving buildings on the site, the present Grade II Listed Offices and adjacent remains of a mid-19th century Retort House are of local and perhaps wider cultural heritage significance, while the walls of Fulwell limestone apparently associated with the Retort House are also of interest. The later buildings on the site are of little significance.
Following the recommendation of the County Archaeologist, an historic buildings record has been prepared for the Retort House and adjacent limestone walls to ensure a record is made prior to their demolition. Due to substantial groundworks being proposed within the development it is recommended that those parts of the site subject to groundworks during the proposed redevelopment are archaeologically evaluated by trenching to determine, in particular, whether any putative settlement remains associated with early Monkwearmouth (clustered around the church of St Michael) survive within the area. It is considered that the areas considered most appropriate for trenching are the open yard between the gasworks offices and Retort House, and the area of open grassland north of the gasworks offices.

  Former Gas Board Offices  
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Maynard’s Toffee Factory, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Archaeological Watching Brief and Recording.
May 2012.
(For Brimms Construction).
This document reports on an archaeological watching brief and building recording conducted in late 2011 within the former Maynard’s Toffee Factory (centred on Grid Reference NZ 26348 64246) between Ouse Street and the Ouseburn, on the east-side of Newcastle upon Tyne. The work reported here was carried out to mitigate the impact of the partial demolition of the north-east elevation of a building known as ‘the cottage’ and the complete demolition of a brick-built structure north-west of it.
The removal of overburden from the 'the cottage' interior exposed floor slabs and hearths in both of its rooms, which do not seem to have been connected by any openings in the cross wall. The north-western basement room had a window close to the south-east end of its north-east wall, and in its south-western wall displayed evidence for a possible open basement well in front of the property. No further evidence came to light upon which to base an assessment of the date or original function of the building, but it is likely to have formed a pair of cottages of reasonable status, probably built sometime in the 18th century.
The front brick-built part of the Northern Range of the building was demolished, leaving the lower stone rear wall of the building intact and revealing more of two openings, measuring 1.30 m high and 1.25 m high, into chambers visible in the second and third bays of the brick-built frontage. No additional features of interest were exposed.
It is concluded that the partial demolition of the stone-built 'cottage' and brick-built 'Northern Building' removed some historic features from a building of some local interest within a Conservation Area, but did not deprive the area of cultural heritage remains of high significance. Any further development work within the current site or wider area should, however, be closely scrutinised for its likely impacts upon the cultural heritage and an appropriate response formulated.

  Maynard's Toffee Factory  
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Wayfinder Phase 2. Archaeological Watching Brief, Newcastle City Centre.
April 2012.
(For Newcastle City Council).
An archaeological watching brief was requested by the Newcastle City Archaeologist to mitigate the potential impact on various sites of potential cultural heritage importance, including Hadrian’s Wall and Ditch, the Roman vicus and Medieval remains, which it was considered could result from the installation of new signposts as part of the Wayfinder project.
With the exception of an excavation in the cemetery of All Saint’s church, no significant cultural heritage remains were observed during excavations carried out at relatively shallow depths within areas of potential archaeological importance as part of the Wayfinder scheme. At all Saints church, disarticulated human remains of unknown date were located within topsoil at a depth of 0.70m. It was concluded, therefore, that with the exception of a possible medieval and later graveyard, no remains of cultural heritage importance were disturbed by the work, but further works of similar nature within these areas should be treated on their own merits with regard to archaeological intervention.

  Wayfinder Phase 2  
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Electricity Connection for Wingates Wind Farm at Castle Walk, Morpeth, Northumberland. Archaeological Watching Brief.
September 2012.
(For Morrison Utility Services).
This document reports on a process of archaeological monitoring conducted between 10th September – 1st October 2012 at Castle Walk (centred on Grid Reference NZ 20034 85439) in Morpeth, Northumberland (Illus. 01-03). The purpose of the watching brief was to monitor works associated with the excavation of test pits and cable trenches for the connection of an electricity supply to the Windgates Wind Farm.
This stretch of the route falls within the limits of the zone identified in the Northumberland Extensive Urban Survey: Morpeth as representing the original zone of post-Conquest settlement, which includes the earthwork motte and bailey castle, Haw Hill, and the parish church of St Mary, as well as the later Morpeth Castle immediately adjacent to the line of the proposed electricity power supply cable. It was considered of high potential for significant historic and specifically medieval archaeological remains to be present in the area.
Northumberland County Council (NCC) Conservation Team accordingly stipulated that an archaeological watching brief should be maintained during the excavation works for the grid connection, to ensure that any archaeological remains found to exist on the site were appropriately recorded, in order to determine their character and state of survival.
Initially three test pits were excavated at 100m intervals along the southern edge of Castle Walk. These test pits determined that the land was unsuitable for the proposed drilling and feeding through electricity cabling by machine. Consequently it was decided to manually excavate a long narrow trench, connecting each of the test pits, joining a cable junction trench at the east end of the site and extending down the lane at Queen’s Garth towards the main road (A197).
Archaeological monitoring of the works produced no observations of cultural heritage significance, and it was concluded that no significant archaeological features or deposits were disturbed during the groundworks on the site. A modern cobbled road surface observed just under the existing tarmac and cutting into natural sandy clay alluvium, had truncated any earlier archaeological remains beneath.
No further archaeological monitoring is required during this phase of groundworks. However, considering the high potential for significant archaeological deposits to exist in the area, it is recommended that any future work should be considered on its own merits with respect to the need for archaeological intervention.

  Castle Walk, Morpeth  
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Land at Woodlands Court, Kibblesworth, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. Archaeological Watching Brief.
September 2012.
(For Nicholson Nairn Architects).
This document reports on a process of archaeological monitoring conducted between 17th September – 1st October 2012 on land at Woodlands Court (centred on Grid Reference NZ 2461 5688) in Kibblesworth, Gateshead (Illus. 01-03). The purpose of the watching brief was to monitor works associated with the excavation of foundation trenches for a new dwelling to be constructed on the site.
The proposed development at Woodlands Court lies within the presumed former extent of Kibblesworth medieval village (HER 648). Furthermore, extant ridge and furrow earthworks can be observed in the fields to the immediate north of the development site. Historic maps (Illus. 04-07) suggest that the site was formerly divided into typical ‘toft’ tenement plots extending back from the street frontage of the medieval village. A possible association with the former Kibblesworth Hall (demolished in 1973) must also be considered.
Given the possibility of encountering buried evidence of Medieval and post medieval remains, Tyne & Wear Specialist Conservation Team imposed a condition for an archaeological Watching Brief during all invasive ground-works on the site, in order that any archaeological remains could be recorded.
Foundation trenches for a single large dwelling was excavated in a T-shaped pattern; with the eastern arm aligned roughly SE-NW, and the western arm returning westerly at 45°, aligned roughly SW-NE. All of the trenches measured roughly 0.75m in width and were excavated to depths of 0.90 – 1.10m. The dimensions of the overall foundation were: 21m (length) x 18m (width) x 1.10m (max depth).
Archaeological monitoring of the works produced no observations of cultural heritage significance, and it was concluded that no significant archaeological features or deposits were disturbed during the groundworks on the site. Disturbed ground associated with landscaping for modern housing in the 1990s was observed cutting into the natural sandy clay. It is suggested that this modern activity has completely truncated any archaeological remains that may have existed on the site.
No further archaeological monitoring is required during this phase of groundworks. However, considering the high potential for significant archaeological deposits to exist in the area, it is recommended that any future work should be considered on its own merits with respect to the need for archaeological intervention.

  Kibblesworth  
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104b High Street, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees. Archaeological Watching Brief.
July 2012.
(For Mr Jonathan Hall).
In July 2012 a programme of archaeological monitoring was requested by the Tees Archaeology Officer to mitigate the impact of groundworks associated with a proposed development of a site on the east side of Yarm High Street, Stockton-on-Tees. A recently demolished extension building to the rear of 104b High Street was to be redeveloped on a slightly larger footing (approx 26m2) which required the excavation of new foundation trenches.
Although no previous archaeological work had taken place on the development site, it was located within the medieval town of Yarm (HER 3544), which was first established in the 12th century, suggesting excavations could potentially impact upon significant archaeological remains.
Accordingly, the results of archaeological monitoring, determining the character and state of survival of any archaeological features found to exist there, were required to allow Stockton Borough Council to discharge a recommended planning condition (Application no: 11/2809/LBC) relating to the heritage asset of archaeological interest within the development area.
No significant archaeological remains relating to the medieval period were observed during the excavations. It would seem that post c18th building development has removed any earlier archaeological remains in this area.
Remains of a small red-brick cellar room (03) were observed however, beneath the recently demolished extension in the NW corner of the site, at a minimum depth of 1.20m (the limit of excavation). This cellar comprised of hand-made c18th red-bricks, bonded with original lime-cement but rendered internally with a more modern sand-cement mix.
A comparison of brick style to surrounding buildings, suggests the small cellar room to be of probable c18th origin and most likely contemporary with the existing building of 104b High Street. The re-rendering of the internal faces of the cellar walls within modern times, suggested a relatively lengthy life-span, probably from the c18th in to the c20th. The cellar was almost certainly used as a simple goods storage area for the property at 104b High Street, although no archaeological or datable finds were discovered to determine its exact nature.
In front of (east of) the cellar, a disturbed area of earlier brick demolition was observed (04) containing several pre-c18th hand-made bricks. The demolition comprised of thinner and wider hand-made bricks and seemed to be of an earlier date than the cellar itself. Unfortunately, without in-situ wall forms and without other archaeological finds within this context, the origins of this potentially earlier structure remain undetermined.
No archaeological remains of medieval or early post-medieval (16th/17th-century) date were observed during the course of the groundworks. It is considered that any such remains which may formerly have existed within the footprint and operating construction depth of the development works will have been destroyed by the small 18th-century cellar and by more recent works. Accordingly, no further archaeological monitoring is recommended in connection with the proposed extension to the rear of 104b High Street, Yarm.

  104b High Street, Yarm  
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King Edwin’s Palace, Old Yeavering, Northumberland. Archaeological Evaluation.
June 2012.
(For Lord Anthony Hill).
A project to conserve the building known as ‘King Edwin’s Palace’, now more commonly called ‘The Old Palace’, located on the eastern edge of Kirknewton township and parish (NGR NT 924302; Illus. 01-03) is being funded by Natural England as part of a Higher Level Stewardship management agreement for the Yeavering Estate. The site is owned by Lord Anthony Hill of Lilburn Hill Ltd, while the architect for the conservation project is Robin Dower of Spence & Dower Chartered Architects. Paul Frodsham, of ORACLE Heritage Services, is the owner’s archaeological advisor and has acted as Project Manager for this evaluation. The work is funded by Natural England through the Yeavering Higher Level Stewardship agreement, under the management of Tom Gledhill. The Northumberland National Park Authority is also closely involved as the local planning authority. Indeed, the National Park Authority has long had an interest in the Old Palace, and the current project will help to realise the better management of the building as proposed in a long-standing Management Agreement between the Authority and the owner of the Yeavering Estate.
Excavation within the Old Palace has revealed a floor surface of stone flags patched with brickwork at the east end of the structure, probably associated with a fireplace and largely confined to the east side of an interior division marked by the footings of a stone wall.
Elsewhere in the building it appears that the flagged floor which is presumed to have been present has been removed, presumably for re-use elsewhere. Although hints of rough flagging were present to suggest that the building may have been re-floored for later use as a stock barn, it is just as likely that the compressed earth floor immediately underlying the modern concrete surface served such a purpose during its latest phase of agricultural use.
Excavations into the underlying deposits of river worn cobbles did not identify any earlier floor levels or other features. In particular, the re-excavation of a trench excavated by Hope-Taylor in the 1950s did not reveal any unnatural features, such as floor surfaces, or breaks in stratigraphy indicating the depth of made deposits.
With regard to the impact of scheme originally proposed for supporting a roofed structure on beams within the Old Palace building, it is concluded that this would impact negatively upon the surviving floor at the east end of the building and a preferable option would be to site pillars for such a structure outside the structure.
With regard to the standing structure, a building survey carried out in association with Peter Ryder and photographic recording with Paul Frodsham provided a more complete record of the building than had hitherto been undertaken. As a result of observations made during these investigations, it was concluded that the earliest structure was a long narrow and low building with thick walls of clay-bonded rubble, which include early structural timber elements, a feature which makes the building unique in the area. Further evidence for the original character or construction and subsequent phasing of the building may come to light during consolidation works, but it is concluded that the potential for dendro-archaeological dating of the upright wall timbers also merits investigation.
With regard to the pre-modern function of the building, aerial photographs of the structure in the context of its immediate landscape setting provide additional evidence upon which to base hypotheses that could be tested archaeologically.

  King Edwin's Palace, Old Yeavering  
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40 Bell Street, North Shields. Historic Building Recording.
December 2012.
Ms Marisa O'Neill.
This report constitutes an historic building record of 40 Bell Street, North Shields, the surviving six-bay western section of what was formerly a sixteen-bay warehouse set into the base of the steep valley side, thought to have been built between 1935 and 1941.
It is concluded that the current building is the earliest part of what was, until its recent partial-demolition, a 16 bay warehouse of three distinct phases. The surviving part of the structure has been much-altered, but retains much of its original south elevation and roof structure which are known to have been present in 1946, when it was used as workshop, stores and accommodation by G R Purdy Trawlers Ltd., but are unlikely to pre-date the mid-1930s.
In addition to carrying out a photographic record of the buildings and providing current and historic ground plans, elevations and photographs, a written descriptive report has also been produced which concludes that the building, of smooth-faced orange brick, in English Garden Wall Bond 1 & 3, with a Welsh Slate roof, is of relatively little architectural merit and does little to enhance the character of the Conservation Area.

  40 Bell Street, North Shields  
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Land at Ravenside Farm, East Heddon, Northumberland.
Archaeological Watching Brief.
July 2012.
(For Mr. David Barber).

This document reports on an archaeological strip and record watching brief conducted in February 2012 and the monitoring of stanchion pit excavations in July 2012, ahead of the construction of a new barn on land at Ravenside Farm, East Heddon, Northumberland.
No features of archaeological significance were revealed on the new build site during both the soil-stripping and stanchion pit excavations down to natural boulder clay and beyond this to a maximum depth of 1.10m. The surface deposits across the site were found to have been disturbed by activities associated with intensive animal husbandry, while the underlying deposit of silty loam, possibly a degraded plough-soil, was uniform throughout the site and contained no indications of archaeological feautres or finds.
It is concluded, therefore, that the soil stripping operations and stanchion pit excavations had no negative impact on the cultural heritage remains of the site, and no further work is recommended with regard to the current scheme. However, any further development proposals in the vicinity of this site should be treated on their own merits with regard to the need for archaeological intervention.

  Raveside Farm  
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Cockle Park Tower, Northumberland. Monitoring and recording 2007-2012.
(For Newcastle University).
An archaeological watching brief and building recording was conducted between 2007 and early 2012 during consolidation works and related groundworks at Cockle Park Tower (NZ 202912), a late medieval tower house/hunting lodge 4 km north of Morpeth. Probably built in the second half of the 15th century as a grand hunting lodge, the earliest reference to the tower itself is in 1517 when the 4th Lord Ogle granted his brother William the tower and lands of ‘Cokyll’ Park. From the later 16th century onwards the tower became part of the Bothal Estate, whose owners became the Dukes of Portland. By 1827 Cockle Park had become the Duke’s experimental farm, and in 1902 the County Council took over, but it remained an experimental farm, later passing to the University of Newcastle. The tower, set within a cluster of later farmbuildings, remains part of an experimental farm owned by the University of Newcastle, and was most recently used as a student’s hospital, but this use ceased abruptly in the mid-1970s with major structural problems and falls of masonry prompting a rapid evacuation, since when it has stood empty and in deteriorating condition. The present archaeological recording was carried out as part of an initial scheme of repair funded by English Heritage; executive architects were Devereux Architects, with Kevin Doonan Architects as the conservation/contact architects. In 2006 a Structural Inventory for the tower was prepared by Peter Ryder, Historic Buildings Consultant (PFR 2007); this was revised in 2007 and further revisions following the most recent set of observations form part of a report prepared for the University of Newcastle and lodged with the county HER in 2012. In addition a photographic record of the exterior of the tower was made in 2007 (TAP 2007).
The aims of the watching brief were to determine whether archaeological features or deposits were present on the site, and to make an appropriate record of any such finds by photographic and other means. Accordingly, all works carried out between November 2007 and January 2012 on the structure of the standing building and groundworks outside the tower were monitored.

  Cockle Park Tower  
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Fieldwork on the site of Dukesfield Smelt Mills, Hexhamshire.
Archaeological Evaluation.
October 2012.
(For The Friends of North Pennines).
This document reports on a programme of archaeological fieldwork, including geophysical survey and evaluation excavation carried out at the site of Dukesfield Smeltmills, on the Allendale Estate in the Parish of Hexhamshire, Northumberland where background documentary work had provided contextual information regarding the archaeological and historical development of an industrial site active from at least the mid 17th century to around 1840, during which time it was occupied by a lead smelting works.
The excavations carried out in October 2012 explored some of the main features of the site visible as built remains, including a run-off leat and chimneys, as well as testing sites thought likely on the basis of historic map evidence to contain built remains.
The results of geophysical survey, undertaken in difficult conditions, did not provide compelling evidence for buried archaeological remains, but this alone does not represent evidence for the absence of such remains. The subsequent excavations were considerably more revealing, providing evidence for a wide range of structural elements some of which lend themselves to secure interpretation, while others present further questions the solutions to which can only be approached by combination of additional fieldwork, materials analysis and documentary evidence.
The evidence provided by excavation indicates that a rich and diverse range of archaeological features survive on the site and that further investigation would add considerably to the fund of knowledge available for their interpretation.
It is recommended on the basis of the evaluation work reported here and supported by documentary evidence that the following elements of the site should be further investigated with a view to public interpretation, consolidation and, in some cases, display:
The area in front of the truncated north elevation of the arches should be investigated by widening and deepening the trench opened in October 2012, with the aim of establishing the extent, depth, character and chronological phasing of remains known to be present there. Specifically, the relationship of the excavated wall remains with the present arches should be established by excavating up to the footings of the arches following suitable consolidation work on the upstanding structure.
The excavation of the leat south-west of the arches should be extended to include the section excavated in October 2012 with an additional section to the west. The purpose of this will be to expose features for consolidation, interpretation and display, and to answer questions about the nature of the water supply to the smeltmills, and to explain changes to this supply over time.
The excavation of the chimney bases should be repeated and extended to include the area between the chimneys and the end of the arches upon which the horizontal flues from the smeltmills rested, with the purpose of exposing features for interpretation and consolidation.

  Dukesfield Smelt Mill  
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St. Andrew’s Church, Hartburn, Northumberland.
Archaeological Evaluation and Watching Brief.
November 2011 – March 2012.
(For St. Andrew’s PCC).
An archaeological evaluation was conducted at St. Andrew’s Church, Hartburn, Northumberland (centred on Grid Reference NZ 09028 86009), in November 2011 to investigate the archaeological potential of the site prior to the installation of services associated with a new heating system, creation of a new servery and WC. Subsequently, between February and April 2012, the excavation of a service trench in the churchyard was monitored, along with the removal of the old boiler house and various works inside the church, including the installation of underfloor heating and creation of a new doorway in the west wall of the nave.
The most interesting discovery was the remains of an enigmatic structure, or complex of structural phases, due west of the central part of the church tower just east of the course of the 19th century and earlier churchyard wall. Here, in a north-westward extension to the trench, the remains of a wall or platform was discovered sitting on two levels of foundation plinths and bordered on its west side by pathway edging also exposed in evaluation Trench 5 (above). The built character of this enigmatic feature is not inconsistent with Roman or early medieval periods, but no artifactual or other evidence was found to corroborate this.

  St. Andrew's Church, Hartburn  
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Keepwick Cottages, Keepwick Farm, Tynedale, Northumberland.
Archaeological Watching Brief.
April 2012.
(For Mr & Mrs J Walton).
An archaeological watching brief was requested by the Northumberland Assistant County Archaeologist to mitigate the potential impact of the excavation and associated works for the construction of extensions to the side and rear of cottages at Keepwick Farm (NT 952 714) in order to create a single dwelling.
The work was monitored in two stages:
A) the demolition of outbuildings and initial strip of the site
B) the excavation of foundation trenches to the front and rear of the cottage block.
No significant cultural heritage remains were observed during the course of the groundworks and it is therefore concluded that no remains of cultural heritage importance were disturbed.

  Keepwick Cottages  
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Fieldwork at the Killhope Buddle House, Killhope Lead Mining Museum, Co. Durham. Archaeological Evaluation.
November 2012.
(For The North of England Lead Mining Museum).
A programme of archaeological evaluation trenching and historic buildings recording was conducted in November 2012 within the Buddle House, the most easterly existing building of the early modern industrial complex at Killhope, now a lead mining museum located in the north-west corner of County Durham (NGR NY 82699 42975) in upper Weardale, close to the border with Cumbria at Nenthead.
Plans are currently being developed for the redevelopment of parts of the site, including the former Buddle House, currently used for general storage, as an education room. Prior to the evaluation, weathered timbers protruded from the earthen floor of the Buddle House close to its east door, suggesting that original machinery may survive buried beneath the present ground surface.
Fieldwork in November 2012 consisted of an historic buildings record produced in order to contribute to the analysis of the historical development of the building by describing and illustrating significant features and indicating phases of development. In addition, the programme of invasive work involved the excavation of three trenches distributed strategically within the Buddle House, located and planned manually and by digital survey.
The work was carried out using core staff of the Archaeological Practice Ltd., supplemented by specialists in relevant fields - notably Peter Ryder the buildings historian. These were assisted by over 20 volunteers, co-ordinated by Paul Frodsham from the North Pennines AONB - Altogether Archaeology project, who were guided by the professional personnel and provided reciprocal specialised knowledge in a range of relevant fields.
The excavations conducted within the Buddle House in November 2012 have provided evidence for surviving structures below floor level in three locations and it is considered likely that other such remains survive elsewhere within the building.
In Trench 1 were revealed the remains of what is best interpreted as a small convex buddle, connected to an over-head launder, the supports for which were excavated in Trench 3.
In Trench 3 remains best interpreted as the substructure and drainage arrangements for a concave buddle were excavated.

  Killhope Buddle House  
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Developing a Community Archaeology Project for Peregrini Lindisfarne:
Options Appraisal for Community Involvement.
December 2012.

(For Peregrini Lindisfarne).

The Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to protect and enhance the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and surrounding areas of North Northumberland by reconnecting the community’s relationship with the land and seascapes, heritage and history, making the area a better place to work, live and visit. In this context it is proposed to develop, as part of a series of inter-related projects involving the natural and cultural heritage of the area, a community archaeology project on and around Holy Island. It is proposed that the scheme should start in autumn 2013 and run for three years, and will involve community-led and community-based work on Lindisfarne and in neighbouring communities.

  Map of Holy Island  
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The Smiddy, Old Town, Ayton, Berwickshire. Archaeological Watching Brief.
September 2012.
(For D J Auld, Joiners & Builders).
This document reports on a process of archaeological monitoring conducted between 27th-28th September 2012 on land at The Smiddy, Old Town (centred on Grid Reference NT 92458 61041) in Ayton, Berwickshire (Illus. 01-03). The purpose of the watching brief, was to monitor works associated with the excavation of foundation trenches for four new dwellings to be constructed on the site.
Historic maps of the town suggest that buildings existed on the site prior to the creation of the designed landscape at Ayton Castle in the 18th century, and the rows of buildings either side of the High Street are similar to the layouts of comparable medieval villages elsewhere in historic Berwickshire. Given the possibility of encountering buried evidence of medieval structures, Dr Christopher Bowles, Archaeology Officer for Scottish Borders Council, stipulated that a Watching Brief condition be applied during all groundworks associated with development on the site.
Foundation trenches for the four dwellings were excavated in an L-shaped terrace pattern (see Appendix 2); with the two northern dwellings aligned SW-NE and parallel to the road, and the two southern dwellings returning at 45° aligned NW-SE. All of the trenches measured 0.75m in width and were excavated to a maximum depth of 0.90m. The foundation for each individual dwelling measured 7.20m (length) x 6.27m (width).
Archaeological monitoring of the works produced no observations of cultural heritage significance, and it was concluded that no significant archaeological features or deposits were disturbed during the groundworks on the site. Disturbed ground associated with modern housing and probable make-shift workshops was observed cutting into the natural sandy clay. It is suggested that this modern activity has completely truncated any archaeological remains that may have existed on the site.
No further archaeological monitoring is required during this phase of groundworks. However, considering the high potential for significant archaeological deposits to exist in the area, it is recommended that any future work should be considered on its own merits with respect to the need for archaeological intervention.

  Old Town, Ayton  
         
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