Monthly Archives: February 2017

Further events around the CBA North region next week

CBA North News

Events continue at speed all across the CBA North region. Tonight sees the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle’s lecture on Medieval manuscripts whilst you’ll need to be quick to book by the end of this week for the Lancaster University Archaeology Forum for the first March weekend if your interests are more in the northwest of our extensive region.

We, like those manuscripts, also aim to illuminate you. In our case of what is happening across the North coming up soon. Next week, also coming at speed, covers the end of February and start of March means events of the Teesside Archaeological Society at the start of the week, the Till Valley Archaeological Society mid-week and also of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland in the weekend as well as the Forum just mentioned.

We have details of each and all below for you to take your pick in attending. Enjoy!

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 22.02.2017

Lancaster University 44th Annual Archaeology Forum
This year’s conference includes a number of talks that may be of interest to CBA North members interested in Cumbrian archaeology. These span the archaeological periods of Roman and Medieval on particular sites across Cumbria (Maryport’s temples and Furness Abbey, in further sites in the Duddon Valley and on an early archaeologist of the Urswick area) as well as talks on drones, LIDAR and the Portable Antiquities Scheme in long-standing projects spanning the CBA North and North West regions.

You will need to be quick to book. Details of the day, including further talks, can be found online here with links to the booking system and a map for the venue itself.

Dance of Death
The mystery of our earlier email ‘The Varied Landscapes Of The CBA North Region (And Beyond)’ sent to you on the 12 February is now explained by our group member the Teesside Archaeological Society as explained by David Errickson their Chair. The next lecture, as usual the last Tuesday of the month – the 28 February – at Stockton Library at 7.30 pm, is Death and Discovery.

This lecture will be by David Dance, now a freelance archaeologist, who will discuss the use of archaeology in forensic investigation, exploring the origins of forensic archaeology and its application in criminal investigations of missing or suspected dead persons, with a practical demonstration of forensic archaeology in action.

Further details of the group, and of the speaker, can be found online through the links of their website, accessible through our own webpage in our Local Societies and Groups entry.

The next TillVAS lecture
Later that week is the next TillVAS lecture. With thanks to Maureen Charlton, their Secretary, details are given in their poster below.

Whilst Coldingham might be outside the already large CBA North region there are many Early Medieval and Medieval connections of the various religious houses here to those within CBA North which this lecture might well cover.

(If one looks at the past then suggestions have been made to include the south of Scotland with the north of England at times – not just in the 1470s, but also in the 1970s a suggestion was made to increase the CBA North region!).

Architectural and Archaeological Society lecture
Our email of the 12 February included notice of an open day in Yorkshire following investigations of a Roman road linking with our region. Belinda Burke, Secretary of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, another of our group members, sends us details of their next lecture which looks at another site connected by a Roman road – this time Dere Street – to our region.

Clashing dates and Future CBA North events
The 4 March, as we have covered today and in previous emails to you, will be a busy day – the Peregrini (covered in the 12 February email) and Lancaster University Conferences at opposite sides and ends of the region, in addition to the lecture immediately above, as well as CBA North Committee meeting in the morning. It is one of those days with lots clashing!

The agenda for the CBA North Committee will be finalising details for our own events with the dates we have already sent you as 29 April and 20 May – hopefully no clashes for those with anyone else, but if you don’t tell us we don’t necessarily know.

Save those dates if you can!

Hot off the press archaeological news

CBA North News

Today we have some events and notices hot off the press – we’ve notice of an open day in south-east Northumberland tomorrow, as well as the programme and notice for the opening of bookings of the ever popular annual Durham Archaeology Day on Monday. The regular events of local groups across the region, however, also continue on; Wednesday sees the next of The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne’s series. This, and others, can be found listed in our Events page of our website.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 18.02.2017

Cresswell Community Archaeology Open-Day
Barry Mead and Archaeological Research Services write to us giving information of an open day tomorrow (Sunday) if you are in the Cresswell area of Northumberland. These excavations, whilst concentrating in the area of the Medieval pele, have revealed a range of evidence from the Mesolithic to the Modern. Details are given in the poster below.

County Durham Archaeology Day: Saturday 11 March 2017
David Mason and Tracey Donnelly of Durham County Council have provided these details of this year’s annual archaeology day in three weeks time. As ever this will be in the the Council Chamber and Durham Room, at County Hall in Durham. This year’s fascinating talks include:

– The Main Walled Garden at Auckland Castle: Repairs and Conservation.
Harry Beamish

– A Round House and a Counting House: Two Recent Historic Building Projects
Richard Annis

– Historic Building Recording at The Gates, Durham City
Tom Addyman

– Recent Archaeological Investigations in the North Pennines
Paul Frodsham

– The Balneum of Concangis: A Roman ‘villa’ Rediscovered at Chester-le-Street
David Mason

Time:             9:45am – 4:15pm

Cost:              £14.00 which includes buffet lunch, teas & coffees; £12.00 for full-time students, please let us know if you have any dietary requirements, or require a vegetarian lunch.

Tickets sell out very quickly so book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets will go on sale from 9.00am Monday 20th February.

To book and pay for a place online follow the link here and click Archaeology Day from the services listed or contact 03000 260000 if you wish to book and pay over the phone.

There will be displays by local societies and archaeological contractors as well as bookstalls in the adjacent Durham Room.

Events listed on the CBA North website
Our Events page continues to list further regular events throughout 2017. We’ll be sending out other news and notices of others events in our next email, if we can, next week.

The varied landscapes of the CBA North region (and beyond)

CBA North News

Now well into February, we are well into the programmes of the local groups and societies all across the CBA North region. As you will recall we cover everywhere between the Scottish Border south to Lancashire and Yorkshire (are we the only thing that would unite those two historic counties so flippantly?). Today we have notices for a variety of landscapes across the CBA North region (and a bit beyond as well).

 Our landscapes include a review of coastal fieldwork in 2016 as well as the announcements in Yorkshire following from previously covered investigations of  ‘Cade’s Road’ (as ‘the bit beyond’) and from Northumberland for the landscapes of the Peregrini Partnership and Hexham Abbey, with a nod to the second Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum’s annual conference in between. 

We will also be letting you know soon of the details for our main CBA North events this year. Both are planned to take place in Newcastle with the 29th April confirmed and 20 May to be confirmed; save both of these dates in your diary if you can! We always try to avoid the dates of other similar organisations where we can. Hopefully we will be able to give you more details of these, as well as recent work by the committee on your behalf, to you in our next set of emails.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 12.02.2017

Local Group Round-up: CITiZAN across CBA North
Andy Sherman and Megan Clement have written the review below of their 2016 across CBA North’s two coasts. We announced their various events throughout the course of last year, here you can see the fruits of their labours on both east and west coasts;

“In 2016 CITiZAN (the Coastal and Inter Tidal Zone Archaeology Network) ran several outreach and training events in CBA North’s region including examining a prehistoric peatshelf on the beach at Blyth, recording post-medieval saltpans in Maryport and surveying the remains of a First World War sea-plane base on Tyneside. As well as being out on the foreshore and the riverside Andy and Megan have spoken at archaeological groups, museums and heritage centres around the region discussing everything coastal.

They have also been running introductory sessions with Young Archaeologist Clubs, Duke of Edinburgh groups and Girl Guide troops, introducing the next generation of heritage enthusiasts to coastal and inter-tidal archaeology. Here our youngest trainees learn about the features you find on the foreshore and why it’s important to record them, as well as being told about some the dangers they might face if they venture into the inter-tidal zone unaccompanied. The CITiZAN North team ran a total of ten outreach and training events across Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyneside in 2016.


Members of the public brave a cold, blustery August day to talk about prehistoric submerged landscapes in Blyth

In July CITiZAN North investigated the foreshore along the Howick coast which today is known for its recreational use with coastal footpaths and holiday cottages. In the 19th century the coast was owned by the Grey family and was known for a different sort of recreation. The second Earl Grey (Charles Grey, Prime Minster from 1830-1834) built a bathing house for his children and wife. He also had two, small rock-cut pools cut into the foreshore, which would have heated up much quicker than the surrounding sea, for his family to swim in. Earlier in the summer CITiZAN identified a third rock-cut pool a short distance along the coast south of the bathing house that our volunteers helped us record.


CITiZAN volunteers and staff discuss the 2nd Earl Grey’s bathing pool on the Howick foreshore

On a sunnier day in August we investigated the lime processing industry in the Northumberland village of Beadnell. Lime is a versatile product used for a wide range of things from the building industry to agriculture. The material has been processed in Beadnell for hundreds of years with the earliest known kiln having been found on a short promontory known as Ebb’s Nook and archaeomagnetically-dated to c1480-1520 AD. Perhaps the most well-known lime kilns in Beadnell are those constructed in the late-18th century by John Wood and later converted to smoke fish in the 19th century.

A short distance north of the harbour is a lime kiln eroding out of the edge of Dell Point, one of four kilns marked on an estate map of 1759. CITiZAN’s volunteers photographed and drew the remains of this kiln preserving it in record before it is fully destroyed by the sea.

CITiZAN staff and volunteers establishing a section line early in the morning so that a scale drawing of the remains of the Dell Point lime kiln can be made

As part of the training sessions our volunteers are show how to use our app, which can be downloaded on to Apple and Android devices such as smart phones and tablets. The app enables people to record, photograph and geo-locate archaeological features they find on the foreshore.  As well as allowing people to explore our interactive map and discover heritage sites along the English coast.


A CITiZAN volunteer recording part of the submerged forest at Howick using the projects app

Over the summer CITiZAN filmed three television programmes on the archaeology of the coast for Channel 4. The first of these programmes was filmed along the Northumberland coast featuring heritage sites in Beadnell and Howick including the lime kilns and rock-cut bathing pools mentioned above. The programme also featured the wreck of the early-20th century French fishing trawler the Tadorne. Little remains of the wreck on the foreshore now, although part of the partially salvaged boiler from the trawler can be seen rearing above the jagged rocks of the foreshore at low tide.


Filming with cast and crew of Britain at Low Tide at the wreck of the Tadorne

The three television programmes can still be download from More4 if you would like to watch them.  If you are interested in exploring and recording the heritage of England’s coastline you can download our app here.

To keep up to date with the exciting events CITiZAN North are hosting around the coast of the north of England visit: this page“.

Andy Sherman and Megan Clement
CITiZAN, 08.02.2017

[As a stop-press footnote addition to the review Andy also writes “We’re currently looking at several events in the CBA North’s region and are slowly ironing out the various permissions, timings etc. We’ll keep you updated on progress”. Watch this space for more details, Ed.].

Thornton le Street Heritage Lottery Fund Project
John Sheenan writes to tell us that;

“Thornton le Street History Group are launching their Heritage Lottery Fund supported archaeology and history project with an open day to be held in the village hall on Saturday 18th February between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. Anyone interested in participating is invited to come along, see what is involved and register their interest.
 
Thornton le Street is a typical Vale of York village with extensive evidence of early occupation. The project will study the history of the village and its surrounding area which contains a substantial Scheduled Monument site, a watermill, a river ford, an early church, and landed estates. Two Roman roads are said to converge at this point and it is hoped to resolve whether the village is Roman or medieval in origin.
 
Jim Brightman of Solstice Heritage, who recently led a community archaeology project at Kiplin Hall in the nearby Vale of Mowbray, will supervise the project which will be of 18 months duration. Training and practical experience will be provided in archaeological fieldwork and historical documentary research. The latest digital recording will be used which will be incorporated into a bespoke website which will be developed by the participants.  
 
If you cannot attend on the day, a project synopsis is available on the village website or you can contact John Sheehan on 01609 771878 or at jgsheehan@btinternet.com“.

Events listed on the CBA North website
Our Events page has now settled for a while. Though many of the February events have been and gone, there are a few still to come in the regular programmes of the Lunesdale and Teesside Archaeological Societies covering the Neolithic of the northwest, as well as the mysteriously titled Dance of Death.

Please let us know any questions, comments or information that you have or want publicising by emailing cbanorth@archaeologyuk.org. We have been emailed the three announcements of more one-off events below which you might be interested in. Versions of these posters, which you can download, if you wish to click the links, circulate yourself to your own group’s members or wish to book up, can be found in our blog and website versions of this email.

Peregrini Landscape Partnership Conference

The download-able version of this poster can be found here.

Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum: 2nd Annual Conference
We have been told that the Tyne & Wear Heritage Forum’s event this year will be on Saturday, May 13th 2017, at the Wallsend Memorial Hall. Further information on this day will be available soon.

Hexham Abbey Day School
Members will recount that some of our previous AGMs have been held at Hexham which covered plans for further display and interpretation of the buildings of the abbey. Looking further ahead – to July this time. You will notice, however, that there are advantages in planning ahead as an early bird discount (till the end of March) is offered.


Once again we’ve included a download-able version of this for you – this can be found here as Hexham day school. This includes the booking form on the second page of what is evidently designed to be as a folded leaflet as well.

We were sent details of this last event by Chris Tolan-Smith and Jo Shoebridge; please feel free to let us any information that you may want publicising as well.

An A, B and C of archaeology across CBA North

CBA North News

Another month comes, as does another CBA North email. This time round we have another range from across the CBA North region of what is happening and has happened. We take our prompts today from our own initials with announcements for a coffee morning (complete with archaeological display) and a report on the Coniston Copper project for the ‘C’s, an announcement for an Alpine axeheads lecture as well as a note from the Arbeia Society for the ‘A’s.

Where the ‘B’ you might well ask? That is the behind the scenes ‘busy’ that Committee are in preparing such emails, as well as our own events in April and May, for you. We hope that you will also be busy in attending these events of your own and other local groups. Hopefully the next CBA North email will be out to you by this time next week with some further news.

Nonetheless our best wishes,

CBA North Committee, 06.02.2017

TillVAS Coffee Morning
[The weekend coming up has two events; this is the first of the two posters for you – Ed].

The Coniston Copper Project: Penny Rigg
[Members will recall that we put out a call for volunteers for this project during the summer of last year. This article, contributed by Penny Middleton of Northern Archaeological Associates, details the work carried out so far, Ed.]

“In August 2016 local volunteers from the Lake District National Park, working together with specialists from Northern Archaeological Associates (NAA), undertook a survey of the remains of Penny Rigg copper mill, near Coniston (NGR NY 30656 00695). The mill is prime example of a single-phase, medium-sized, ore dressing and processing plant, associated with Tilberthwaite copper mine. The project was funded by the HLF as part of the Coniston Copper Project; a two-year programme administered by the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), which aims to engage the local people in the history and conservation of the areas’ nationally important mining heritage.


The view across the site
 
Tilberthwaite copper mine was first worked under the auspices of the Mines Royal, during the in the Elizabethan period but mined only sporadically after this until taken over by John Barratt, former manager at the nearby Coniston copper mine, in the mid-19th century. Barratt drove a new adit – Horse Crag Level – 1,039 yard (950m) from Penny Rigg to Tilberthwaite to intersect the valuable North Vein. This was intended to improve both transportation and drainage to the mine, and was anticipated to take seven years at a cost of £3,000. However, from the outset the venture was beset with problems, eventually taking 10 years to complete at an undisclosed cost considerably which was significantly over the original initial estimate.
 
Ore from the mine was loaded onto wagons and brought through Horse Level to Penny Rigg, where Barratt and his partners invested in the construction of a new copper mill. Here the ore was sorted, crushed and processed before being sent for smelting. Work on the mill is believed to have begun in 1864 and completed by 1867-68 but it did not remain in operation long, closing soon after the sale of the mine in 1875. The mill later re-opened briefly in the early 1890s, but closed again in 1892, after which the plant was dismantled and the wheel sold for scrap.


The remains of the crushing mill 

Today, the 1.5ha site comprises the semi-ruinous remains a number of buildings – the crusher house and dressing mill, smithy and powder house – as well as various terraces, two settling ponds, leats, holding pond, spoil tips and tracks, all of which are overlain in part by later quarry waste. The entrance to the Horse Crag Level remains visible and the tunnel has recently been cleared by the Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society (CATMHS), although it is unsafe to access without appropriate equipment and supervision. To the north of the site are the expansive remains of Penny Rigg (Horse Crag) quarry, worked commercially since the mid-18th century.


Rectified photographic survey using a total station

The aim of the community survey was twofold. Firstly, to engage local volunteers in the history and conservation of the site through providing practical, hands-on training, and secondly, to prepare a detailed analytical survey (Historic England Level 2/3) of the surface earthworks and structures. The latter was required to inform a subsequent phase of building conservation. A comprehensive record of the complex was made comprising a topographic, earthwork and building survey. The focus was on ensuring the volunteers received a firm grounding in traditional survey skills – plane table, tape and offset – which could be easily transferred to other mining sites in the area. The use of aerial drones, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), reflectorless total station theodolites (REDM), and rectified photography were also demonstrated.
 
A full copy of the report can be downloaded for free from the NAA website, or contact Penny Middleton at pm@naaheritage.com. If you interested in taking part in the Coniston Copper Project then please contact Eleanor Kingston at Eleanor.Kingston@lakedistrict.gov.uk or check the project website at http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/learning/archaeologyhistory/coniston-copper for details. Further survey work is planned for March at the site of Low Mill Bonsor for three weeks.


Plane table surveying 1

NAA would like to thank all the volunteers who took part for their enthusiasm and dedication throughout the three-week project. We are also indebted to CBA North and the Archaeological and Architectural Society of Durham and Northumberland for the loan of the plane table, and to Warren Allison and his colleagues at CATMHS for their knowledge, advice and support”.


Plane table survey 2

Local group round-up: The Arbeia Society
Paul Bidwell has sent us this small snippet on The Arbeia Society whose annual conference we publicised last year;

“The Society, apart from its re-enactment group, confines itself at present to arranging the annual conference and its publications, including the Arbeia Journal, but a range of new activities are being planned”.

[We look forward to hearing of those events, Ed.]

Alpine axeheads announcement
[As the second announcement for the weekend coming, here is the poster for the next lecture of our group member the ‘Arch & Arch’. This lecture covers these axes which have been found across Britain and Europe, but will also note their comparative rarity and the science that allows the axes to be traced to source, Ed.].

Other Events This Week
Other events this week also include;

6 February – Celts, Fraser Hunter [BAS]
8 February – Excavations at Hepden Burn and Kyloe Shin, John Nolan and Richard Carlton [CCA]
8 February – Prehistoric Life and Death at Lochinver, Philippa Cockburn [NAG]
9 February – The Prehistoric Origins of the A1(M), Dr Blaise Vyner [APPLEBY]
10 February – The Clayton Archaeological Collection, Frances McIntosh [WCAS]
13 February – The Neolithic in the North-West: What makes this region different?, Gill Hey [LUNESDALE]

Contact details for each of these local societies and groups can be found through our own website pages if you have any questions regarding their times and venues.