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Project Summaries 2004

31. Alwinton WB
During May 2004, work was carried out on behalf of Alwinton and Holystone Parish Council to facilitate the construction of a new footpath from the Vicarage to the entrance of the churchyard of St Michael and All Angels, Alwinton. The route of this footpath follows a track that leads to the church and involved cutting into an embankment between the track and the church garage and hearse house. As a result of the new footpaths close proximity to the church (which is Medieval in origin), the Archaeological Practice carried out a watching-brief while excavations took place along the length of the route.
The observations made while excavations were carried out identified deposits of dark brown loam under a deposit of turf and top-soil. This dark soil continued to the maximum depth excavated (0.5m), and appeared to have been a deposit caused by soil creep. Finds were limited to small sherds of modern (Victorian) pottery. The nature of remains found upon the site does not support a recommendation for further archaeological evaluation. However, it would be advisable to carry out archaeological watching briefs during any future work in the vicinity due to the areas rich medieval (and earlier) history. 

32. Black Carts Watching Brief
During late March and early April 2004, Northumberland County Council Highways Department carried out work to conserve and consolidate a length of stone revetting supporting the B6138 Military Road at Black Carts, Northumberland. The area in question runs along side Hadrian’s Wall, a World Heritage Site and Scheduled Ancient Monument, and as a result of this, the Archaeological Practice Ltd carried out a watching-brief while excavations) took place along the length of the route.
No archaeological deposits were observed during the removal of stone walling/revetting, and the excavation of a shallow trench to allow for concrete supports.  
The observations made while work was carried out suggest that the raised split of land on which the Military Road stands is formed largely of plough soil re-deposited to provide a raised platform for the road. The nature of remains found upon the site does not support a recommendation for further archaeological evaluation. However, although no deposits/features of archaeological significance were recovered during this series of works, archaeological consultation should be sought prior to future work on any such site located in the Hadrian’s Wall corridor.

33. Carlisle Pub, Westgate Road, photographic recording
This report provides a background to a programme of recording carried out on buildings at the corner of Westgate Road and St James Boulevard (formerly Blenheim Street), Newcastle upon Tyne. The buildings have been abandoned for many years but formerly served as a public house, the Carlisle Pub, shops and residential units. Although surviving in an extremely poor state, the west and north facing facades retain their most significant original features, notably polychromatic brickwork and, at ground level, modestly decorative frontages, including doorways.
In addition to a catalogue of photographs provided as a permanent record of the buildings complex, the report provides a brief summary of sources available for charting its historic development and includes a number of historic plans and elevations drawn from archival sources.

34. Colisseum, Whitley Bay Assessment
This document reports on an assessment for a proposed development site between York Road and Front Street, Whitley Bay, prior to the demolition of the former Coliseum theatre and cinema.
The available evidence suggests the medieval settlement of Whitley was centred on the present high street, with back plots extending backwards as far as the south side of York road. There is no evidence for early built structures extending far into the back plots, however. Indeed, historic map evidence suggests that until the mid nineteenth century the north side of the site was unoccupied, being used only as garden or arable land. Early maps show it in use as gardens associated with large residences such as Whitley House, an impressive structure located directly to the south of the site. A number of 17th century and later references suggest that buildings of 17th century and earlier date probably occupied the area between Whitley House/Victoria Public House and the Coliseum site, with some being incorporated into the newly built Whitely House in 1803 and others potentially surviving in a yard occupying the southern part of the present development area. It is possible that, in addition to structural remains, archaeologically significant features or deposits may survive beneath the surface in this area.
The recommendation based on the findings of the report call limited evaluation trenching to be carried out in areas likely to be subject to foundation or associated works.

35. Corchester Lane Path, Corbridge, Watching Brief
During late March and early April 2004, Northumberland County Council Highways Department carried out work to install a new footpath running from the west of Corbridge to the English Heritage visitor centre on the site of Corbridge Roman Fort. The route of this footpath ran along the southern edge of Corchester Lane, the road running from Hexham to Corbridge, and adjacent to the Scheduled area of Corbridge Roman Fort.
The observations made while the trench for the footpath was excavated identified deposits of turf/topsoil and plough soil down to the maximum depth of the trench for the majority of the road’s length. However, two features were recorded at opposite ends of the trench. The first (at the east end) appeared to be an area of field clearance/levelling, and was comprised of river-rounded cobbles. At the east end of the trench a section of wall was recorded surviving up to 4 courses in height, containing a worked Roman stone in the fabric. The lack of finds from either feature has made them impossible to date, however the wall in considered most likely to be late Roman or medieval, while the cobbled area is most probably post-medieval in origin. The nature of remains found upon the site would suggest that any future work involving the removal of earth in this area should be the focus of an archaeological evaluation and watching brief, as the results from this latest work display deposits surviving, even in heavily disturbed areas.

36. Corbridge, Anchor Cottage Evaluation
This report describes a programme of archaeological evaluation trenching conducted to inform a proposal for construction work to the rear of Anchor Cottage at 30, Princes Street, Corbridge, south Northumberland. An archaeological assessment and subsequent evaluation work carried out on an adjacent property in 2001 & 2003 demonstrated that while Corbridge itself has been the focus of intensive human activity since later prehistory, the eastern fringe of the town has been occupied since at least the later medieval period.
The investigation of the site by archaeological trenching appears generally to support the findings of work elsewhere in the east part of Corbridge, revealing little archaeological evidence of any significance. The trenches revealed disturbed deposits of agricultural or garden soil underlying modern surfaces, the depth of such deposits varying according to the topography of the site. In one trench part of a pit was also revealed, the fill of which contained fragments of modern pottery, tile and glass.The nature of remains found upon the site does not support a recommendation for further archaeological evaluation. However, since the site lies within the medieval town of Corbridge, it remains possible that archaeological remains may survive beneath modern overburden elsewhere within the site therefore, mitigation by archaeological watching brief may be considered appropriate on other parts of the site.

37. Darlington North Road Assessment
This report represents the cultural heritage component of the Environmental Impact Assessment to improve the layout of the A167 North Road/Whessoe Road/Albert Road junction, to the north of Darlington town centre. 
The report provides contextual information regarding the development of the area to the north of historic centre of Darlington, demonstrating that the proposed improvement lay well to the north of the built-up area of the early medieval, medieval and early modern settlement and borough of Darlington, which did not expand northward to envelop the assessment site until the 19th century.  No pre-19th century sites or monuments have been identified in the immediate vicinity of the proposed scheme, apart from the North Road itself.  Particularly well-represented in the surrounding area are remains of buildings and other features associated with the Stockton and Darlington Railway and its successors.  However the associated buildings on the north side of the railway, formerly occupied by Hopetown goods depot and yard have been completely removed.
The assessment makes a number of recommendations to mitigate the cultural heritage impact of the proposed road.  Consideration should be given to a strategy of evaluation or archaeological monitoring to identify any surviving traces of earlier railway activity within the site of Hopetown goods yard.
It is also recommended that photographic record of the retaining wall and its associated piers and steps on the west side of North Road should be completed before the initiation of construction works and, if practicable, these features should be re-erected and incorporated in the scheme.

38. Harbottle School Assessment
This report provides an assessment at Harbottle Church of England First School.
The main findings of the assessment are that the site of the proposed development is located on the northern side of the probable medieval approach route leading up to the castle.  Accordingly it is likely that this area was formerly much more intensively occupied than at present.  Prior to the construction of the school in 1834, only two buildings are shown on the northern edge of the former approach road, by the early 19th century map evidence, neither of which was located on the site of the school playground.  This reduces the likelihood that archaeological levels in this area have been destroyed by post-medieval activity. The playground may preserve significant archaeological features/deposits, particularly along its southern edge, although material may have been destroyed on its north side where it is terraced into the slope.  While modern development has removed structures and features of pre-modern origin, their remains may survive beneath the present surface. There are a number of possible archaeological techniques methods by which this suggestion can be tested.
Recommendations call for the archaeological evaluation of the site by limited trial excavation in order to establish the presence or absence of archaeological remains.

39. Harbottle School Evaluation
This report describes a programme of archaeological evaluation trenching conducted to inform a proposal for the construction of an extension to Harbottle Church of England First School.
The investigation of the site by archaeological trenching revealed that the ground surface rising upwards from the modern trackway between the school and Harbottle castle appears formerly to have been much steeper, but the flat site occupied by the trackway appears to have extended further to the north by some 2 metres or more. It appears that a revetment built to protect the trackway has acted as a barrier against which soil has accumulated to a considerable depth, thereby flattening the slope above. Whether this has occurred as a result of natural soil creep/slumping, or deliberate terracing, is undetermined. The modern stone wall and hedge line is the latest of several phases of ad hoc revetment work. Between the original revetment remains and the road, at a depth of some 0.45 metres, is a hard core or cobbled surface, perhaps an earlier trackway. Upon this surface were fragments of modern pottery and glassware. Behind the original revetment were the slight traces of a shallow ditch, interpreted as a possible drain associated with the early trackway. The nature of remains found upon the site does not support a recommendation for further archaeological evaluation. However, since the site lies within the medieval village of Harbottle and demonstrably preserves features associated with the likely medieval and later castle access trackway, including a possible early surface, mitigation by archaeological watching brief is recommended as an appropriate strategy to record features of archaeological significance disturbed during the development works.

40. Lime Street, Byker, Assessment
This document provides an archaeological assessment for 26 Lime Street, Ouseburn.
The main findings of the assessment are that no buildings are known to have been placed within the development area until the mid-19th century, with present structures apparently dating to the early 20th century. Furthermore, despite its location within a highly industrialised area, there is no record of any industrial or other activities being carried out there until relatively modern times. However, given the level of industrial activity carried out in the lower Ouseburn area, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries when boatbuilding, transport, glassmaking, pottery-making and related industries were particularly strong, there is a string possibility that industrial practices were carried out there and, consequently, that archaeological deposits relating to the medieval and post medieval periods may survive within or beneath present structures.
Recommendations call for archaeological recording and monitoring of any development work on the site, particularly where groundworks are involved and in the case that the surviving waterside building is demolished.

41. Link House Assessment
The main findings of this assessment are that no definable features of archaeological significance are known or suspected within the defined bounds of the assessment site. Extensive remains of ridge and furrow earthworks close to Link House Farm and around the medieval village of High Newton-by-the-Sea attests to medieval remains in the locality. It is likely that the majority of potential remains of previous land-use have been removed by successive phases of agricultural activity, particularly in the modern period, although a small number of stray finds attest to the likelihood of at least low-level prehistoric activity there.
It is recommended on the basis of these findings that archaeological test pits should be excavated on the site in order to establish the presence or absence of archaeological remains. Any remains of significance revealed during this process should be recorded on site and through off-site analysis of significant finds and deposits. The findings of the assessment phase do not at this stage warrant more intensive archaeological field investigation, such as by geophysical survey techniques or evaluation excavation. However, should complex archaeological remains be encountered during test pitting, more detailed archaeological evaluation may be warranted.

42. York Road, Whitley Bay, Watching Brief
This document reports on a watching brief carried out on a development site at 10 York Road, Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear in advance of the construction of a two storey building because of its proximity to suggested medieval and known post-medieval sites.
The watching brief was carried out during machine stripping of the site and excavation of foundation trenches. Three features were noted, all probably associated with the recently destroyed building on the site. The first was a wall foundation running east-west across the northern edge of the site; the second was a wall running east-west across the middle of the site; the third was a coal bunker that had been built into the north end of the eastern edge of the recently demolished building at foundation level. A basic photographic record was made of these features, but none of them merited additional recording measures.
It is concluded that no features of cultural heritage significance were disturbed by the development works. However, the possibility that remains of significance survive below ground in adjacent plots should not be discounted

A collaborative project between the National Park Authority and local communities established to produce an Atlas of Historic Villages in the Northumberland National Park. 

The project embraces the following seventeen, inhabited historic villages contained within the National Park:

Akeld  (Glendale)

<empty>Hethpool  (College Burn)

<empty>Alnham  (Alndale)

<empty>High Rochester  (Redesdale)

<empty>Alwinton  (Coquetdale)

<empty>Holystone  (Coquetdale)

<empty>Byrness  (Redesdale)

<empty>Ingram  (Breamish Valley)

<empty>Elsdon  (Redesdale)

<empty>Kilham  (Glendale)

<empty>Falstone  (North Tynedale)

<empty>Kirknewton  (Glendale)

<empty>Great Tosson  (Coquetdale)

<empty>Tarset  (North Tynedale)

<empty>Greenhaugh  (North Tynedale)

<empty>Westnewton  (Glendale)

<empty>Harbottle (Coquetdale)

<empty>+ Biddlestone & Thirlwall in 2006



Black Carts

















Corchester Lane Path







Darlington North Road













Harbottle School



Lime Street



Link House

York Road

Village Atlas

The Archaeological Practice