Save Binchester Roman Fort

Message from Dr David Petts (Durham University):

Dear All
 
As many of you know, the Roman fort at Binchester, site of our fieldschool, has been put up for sale by its owners, the Church Commissioners. Worryingly, the site has been divided into separate lots. They owners are selling 10 lots of land (remains of the Bishop Auckland Estate) to the North and East of the town. These include Toft Hill Farm, Binchester Hall Farm, and the Bishop Auckland Golf Course (the old High Park). Two lots, Binchester Hall and Binchester Hall Farm bisect the Roman town more-or-less along the alignment of Dere Street. One lot includes Binchester Hall, the visitor car park, centre, and bath house. The other lot includes the remainder of the fort and is associated with the adjacent farm.
 
Worryingly, Binchester Hall has planning permission for development, which could affect public access to the Roman site. Additionally, if both lots fall to separate owners, any future access to the site, and research, would be at jeopardy. 
 
Auckland Castle Trust have raised substantial funds to help save the fort for the nation, and work with Durham University and Durham County Council to alleviate the risk of development. However, we need for the offer to be accepted by the Church Commissioners. To help emphasise the level of local, regional and national support for this initiative, it would be great if you could raise your concerns with the Church Commissioners through our change.org petition, and helping us circulate this call via email and social media:
 
 
An assessment of the issues at stake can be read on this blog post, and in the media: 
 
 
Information on the recent excavations led by Durham University, which are jeopardised by the proposed sale, can be found here: 
 
 
 
thanks
David
 

 

The Year of Hilda – Celebrating 1400 years since her birth- Hartlepool- 13/9/2014

The  Year of Hilda – Celebrating 1400 years since her birth

A special FREE event on Saturday 13 September in St Hilda’s Church Hartlepool.

Michelle Brown, a renowned authority on the Lindisfarne Gospels, will  speak on The Influence of Hilda and the Lindisfarne Gospels.

10.00am  for coffee, lecture starts at 10.30am.

More info from Rev Chris Collinson on 01429 267030.

English Heritage Aerial Photography Workshop 20/9/2014

A day workshop in Thornton le Street by English Heritage with a mix of theory
and practice. Booking is required.

English Heritage will give the first of a series of workshops on archaeological techniques at Thornton le Street Village Hall between Thirsk and Northallerton on Saturday 20
September from 10.00am to 3.00pm with a one hour lunch break.

The series is intended to stimulate research into the archaeology of the county and provide researchers with the skills necessary to work to a professional standard. It will be conducted by Dave MacLeod, Operational Manager, and Dave Knight, Investigator, of the Aerial Investigation and Mapping Section based at York.

Aerial survey is the single most important tool for the discovery of archaeology sites in
England and plays an important role in many aspects of the National Heritage Protection Plan directed by English Heritage. It is a broad term used to describe the various activities related to the recording of sites and landscapes from the air. This includes the taking of new photographs, along with interpretation and mapping using both new and archive photographs. It is one element of the broader field of remote sensing that provides information about the ground surface and sub-surface without needing direct contact.

Each year hundreds of previously unknown sites are discovered through the Aerial Reconnaissance programme and specialist staff identify even more through the analysis of features visible on existing photographs. Major projects are coordinated through the English Heritage National Mapping Programme. Individual sites are investigated to help understand
important new discoveries and to help with their management. A number of national and local archives are available.

The workshop will be a mix of theory and practice. Numbers will be limited so places must be
booked in advance for each workshop which will cost £20 per person.
Payment should be in favour of English Heritage and posted to John Sheehan at 4 Arden Mews, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1EN.

Lunch is not provided. An additional charge of £2 will be made on the day to
cover accommodation and refreshment costs.

Enquiries to John Sheehan by telephone 01609 771878, or email  jgsheehan@btinternet.com (mailto: jgsheehan@btinternet.com) .

Day Conference: Beyond the walls: The baths, temples, villages and fields outside the forts on Hadrian’s Wall: recent discoveries

Wallquest and the Arbeia Society present a day conference:

 Beyond the walls: The baths, temples, villages and fields outside the forts on Hadrian’s Wall:  recent discoveries

 

Saturday 15 November 2014

Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields

Society members/concessions:                 £15

Non-members:                                              £20

WallQuest participants:                               £5

(includes morning and afternoon tea/coffee but not lunch)

For further information or bookings please contact:
The Secretary, Arbeia Society, Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields, NE33 2BB.
Telephone: (0191) 4544093.

email:alex.croom@twmuseums.org.uk

‘Fires of the North’ programme, running on the Northumbria coast between 25 Aug (St Aebba’s day) and 4 Sept (St Cuthbert’s Day)

A unique venture bringing together three iconic National Nature Reserves and three major national organisations – Lindisfarne NNR (Natural England), Farne Islands NNR (National Trust), and St Abb’s Head NNR (National Trust for Scotland) – around the figure of Cuthbert, the ‘Fire of the North’, and evoking a time when the ancient kingdom of Northumbria straddled what is now England and Scotland.

On 4 September (St Cuthbert’s Day) last year a beacon/fire was lit by National Trust Rangers on the Inner Farne to commemorate the time in 687 when monks did the same to signal to Lindisfarne the death of Cuthbert on the Inner Farne.

The event celebrated the life of Cuthbert, and especially his strong links with nature and the animal kingdom. As the North’s patron saint he became known as the ‘Fire of the North’.

PROGRAMME OF EVENTS

Mon 25 August (St Aebbe’s Day)

St Abb’s Head NNR – Liza Cole and John Woodhurst

Liza, the National Trust for Scotland’s Senior Ranger at St Abb’s Head NNR will talk about the Reserve, whilst local historian John will explore Cuthbert’s links to St Abbs, stressing the importance he gave to nature and the animal kingdom.

Meet at St Abb’s Head Nature Centre (Grid Ref NT 913674) at 1pm to walk to Kirk Hill, the site of   St Aebbe’s Anglo-Saxon monastery.

Thurs 28 August

Inner Farne NNR – National Trust Rangers and John Woodhurst

John will meet the 11, 12, 1 and 2 o’clock sailings from Seahouses to the Inner Farne, and in a short walk/talk offer the opportunity to find out more about Cuthbert’s links to the Farnes, referencing the archaeology with sites extant today, and stressing Cuthbert’s self-sufficient lifestyle as a hermit. NT Rangers will also be on hand to talk about the wildlife of the Inner Farne.

Standard boat booking from Seahouses to Inner Farne (NT landing fees apply to non members – see NT website for details), and meet John and NT Ranger on landing.

 

Sun 31 August (St Aidan’s Day)

Lindisfarne NNR – Laura Scott and John Woodhurst

Reserve Warden Laura will talk about Lindisfarne NNR, and John will do his regular walk/talk, ‘Cuthbert – Lindisfarne’s First Nature Warden?’.

Meet at Window on Wild Lindisfarne building (Grid Ref NU129419) at 12.30 pm to walk around the Harbour, along the Heugh, across to St Cuthbert’s Island, and back via the ‘Sacred Corridor’ to St Mary’s Church.

Thurs 4 Sept at Dusk ca.8.30-9.00pm (St Cuthbert’s Day)

‘FIRE OF THE NORTH’

Beacons/Fires to be lit on Inner Farne and St Abb’s Head

NT Rangers will repeat the beacon/fire from last year near the lighthouse on Inner Farne.

St Abb’s Head beacon/fire will be on a hill close to St Abb’s Head lighthouse, with a linked walk from Kirk Hill to the site led by Daniel Rhodes, National Trust for Scotland Archaeologist (meet foot of Kirk Hill – Grid Ref NT914687 at 7.30).

John will lead a group from the Window on Wild Lindisfarne building (meet 7.30) to the Watchtower on the Heugh to view, weather permitting, both beacons/fires. Along the way he will give a shortened version of his ‘First Nature Warden’ talk.

ALL WALKS/TALKS ARE FREE.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PHONE OR EMAIL:

Lindisfarne – 01289 381470 or laura.scott@naturalengland.org.uk.

Inner Farne – 01665 576874 or Rebecca.Hetherington@nationaltrust.org.uk.

St Abb’s Head – 01890 771443 or lcole@nts.org.uk.

 

Please wear suitable footwear and be prepared for all weather. Bring a drink/snack. Children must be accompanied by an adult.