Tag Archives: Middlesbrough

CBA North: March News

CBA North News

Dear Members and Friends of CBA North,

This issue’s theme seems to be numbers as you will see for various reasons.

The first two months of the year, even with an extra day last month to play, enjoy and work with, have now gone. There are a number of additions to our previous events listings from three of our group members the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland – the ‘Arch & Arch’, Coquetdale Community Archaeology and the Teesside Archaeological Society. (Other group’s events from outside the CBA North network have also been included). All are now in the revised Events page of our website if they are regular happenings.

March’s events start soon – and hopefully third time lucky for the appearance of Tony Wilmott at the BAS meeting this evening – with Whitby Abbey: 30 years of new research. This event was listed at the start of the year, as it has been previously but those of you in the north of the region will know why the hope as well!

However a pair of articles also review meetings previously announced in the CBA North emails to you last year. This come from Elsa Price, of Tullie House Museum in Carlisle, and Kate Sharpe whose conference we gave a grant to support last year and Maureen Norrie, the Editor of the Teesside Archaeological Society (TAS), who describes the Elgee Memorial Lecture at Middlesbrough. Kira-May Charley who many of you will know already for TAS now become Deputy Chair of the group and represents the group at CBA North Committee as part of the local-regional network also being involved in making this happen.

As part of regional-national network, CBA North is one of a number of CBA regional groups. Indeed we were originally numbered (rather than named) regions across the country. Some of you may remember us as CBA Group 3. Claire Corkill and James Rose, both of CBA National, have written to update of what coming out the 2018 survey and workshops held during March 2019 as well as the preliminary findings from the survey we carried in our last issue – wherein plenty number-crunching has been carried out.

The annual Durham Archaeology Day is close at hand, and details of that day are below. As last year CBA North will have a stall there with Committee members present, so please come along, say “Hello!” and give us your views and feedback on how we are doing for you. (We might even have some bargain books for you for sale there).

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
01.03.2020

2020 Local Society and Group Events – further additions
Some 11 further events have been added since our last email to you in our list of local society and group events, which in turn added to the start of the year listing. These come from a number of sources, including groups inside and outside of the CBA North network.

There are now something like 90 events for 2020 listed. Please continue to let us know any additions and/or alterations for the Events as well as any changes in the details for the Local societies and groups page.

Whilst not all the titles and speakers have been confirmed in these new additions, some have dates that have been confirmed, so put them into your diary now. Here is another consolidated block of those ‘new’ dates, organised by date, which you can also print and ‘patch’ over your earlier printouts.

2 March – Prehistoric Sites nearby Duddo Stones and Roughting Linn, Allan Colman [Bowsden Heritage Group]
14 March – CAREing for rock art in the UK and Ireland, Myra Gisen [ARCH & ARCH]
8 April – AGM and Recent developments in Iron Age archaeology in the North-East, Richard Carlton [TILLVAS]
18 July – Festival of Archaeology lecture: St Godric and Finchale Priory, Margaret Coombes [ARCH & ARCH]
17 September – title to be confirmed on the north east lead industry, Greg Finch [CCA]
26 September – title to be confirmed, Paul Brown [ARCH & ARCH]
29 September – Deceptively Spacious: Durham Castle and the walls survey, Richard Annis [TAS]
10 October – Heritage is more precious than oil: teaching pupils about the past in Jordan, Arwa Badan [ARCH & ARCH]
14 November – Fire, War and Flood: Destruction and Reconstruction of World Heritage Sites, Christopher Doppelhoffer [ARCH & ARCH]
27 October – title and speaker to be confirmed [TAS]
24 November – title and speaker to be confirmed [TAS]

A Note on Further Numbers
Since the start of the year our CBA North numbers of members have continued to grow; some five new members have joined us. Welcome to them one and all of them! At the start of the year the views of our website looked like;

It is therefore pleasing to see that our January and February emails have been well received and that website numbers continue at the same sort of level;

It is with your support that CBA North thrives and is able to support such conferences, and work within the CBA family, as that described below. This is much appreciated by Committee and gives us a purpose for the future.

Can March’s figure be better again? That is also up to you as members, particularly our group members, to help spread the word as we spread your news to everyone else. Already the next email to you is under construction (but whether we send that later this month or the start of April has yet to be decided), so please feel free to send on any news in the meantime.

Northern Prehistory: Connected Communities: a Tullie House conference reviewed
Elsa Price and Kate Sharpe, instigators and co-organisers of the Northern Prehistory conference have given us a review of their wide-ranging conference. CBA North Committee was very pleased to be able to support this conference looking at many different aspects of prehistory of sites, current research on sites and finds, how to research and present it. They write;
 
‘Tullie House’s first in-house conference was held at the museum over the weekend of the 12 and 13 October 2019. This was generously supported with a grant from CBA North and supported with bursaries for students by the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society.


‘As Curator of Human History [Elsa], I teamed up with archaeology researcher, Dr Kate Sharpe from Durham University to try and replicate our own exchange of ideas and perspectives of Cumbrian prehistory on a larger stage. As intended, the conference attracted delegates from across a diverse range of sectors. The 75 attendees represented commercial archaeology units, museums and learning, various heritage sites, academics, students, community archaeology groups and private researchers and amateurs. This bringing together of a wide variety of backgrounds was a key objective of the conference, recognising that multiple organisations, groups and individuals are working in similar areas, yet seldom have the opportunity to share and develop through networking with one another.


A network of museum curators, education officers, CBA North members and others – all conference attendees – listening to interpretation consultant Dot Boughton explain all about the Bewcastle cauldron

‘The keynote presentation was delivered by Professor Richard Bradley of Reading University and the programme included 11 sessions across the weekend including discussions on: what we mean by ‘Northern Prehistory’, material culture, access and engagement, the Langdale axe quarries, and the major site of Stainton West. A conference discussion was led by Paul Frodsham and concluded that there was an active community of people who wanted to do more with both Cumbrian and wider northern prehistory, and are keen to form stronger relationships with other disciplines and organisations. It was also noted that Cumbria should not viewed as “northern” but rather central to the British Isles, and future research work should aim to connect with Yorkshire, southern Scotland and Ireland. Delegates requested that contact details be shared and Tullie House has been compiling a database to help facilitate networking and potentially generate future projects. This contact bank has now been compiled and distributed. Anyone wishes to obtain a copy can do so by emailing me at elsa.price@tulliehouse.org.

A Connected Community of the past; some of Mesolithic Stainton West explained

‘For Tullie House, the permanent Prehistory Gallery had had no major development since its installation in 1991. The recent development of the new displays meant that reconnecting and exploring the findings and ideas from the Cumbrian prehistory community was essential. This ensured that the gallery refresh embraced recent thinking and now better reflects the whole county. The new gallery was part of the focus of this conference, to demonstrate how the results of research and fieldwork can be disseminated to wide audience base. Supporting this central idea were talks from a variety of museum and heritage professionals addressing the challenges of curating prehistory-based school sessions. Papers were presented from Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums (Kathryn Wharton), Leeds Museums and Galleries (Emily Nelson) and Durham University Library and Heritage Collections (Paddy Holland). Alongside this Gabrielle Heffernan, curatorial manager at Tullie House spoke about how best to access and museum’s research collections. Bolstering these talks were practical education-based workshops from Sarah Forster from Tullie House, an optional trip to the prehistoric landscape of Moor Divock led by Emma Watson and a knapping demonstration by James Dilly from Ancient Craft.

Another part of the new displays; with video showing knapping as demonstrated at the conference, original artefacts within the case and handling materials attached to the bench

‘For those working in commercial and academic archaeology the conference provided a valuable opportunity to catch up on work being done across the county, to learn about new approaches and interpretations, and to make both research and business connections in a relaxed environment. The positive messages from national heritage organisations were also well received and will perhaps encourage more fieldwork to investigate the rich array of prehistoric landscapes across the county. The declared intention of Tullie House to foster increased access to collections was also extremely encouraging and will hopefully see both students and more experienced researchers turn their attention to the wealth of Cumbrian artefacts held by the museum.  
 
‘Additional activities included post-conference drinks and a conference dinner. Overall, the conference was extremely well-received with all delegates indicating that they would like to attend similar interdisciplinary events in the future. Feedback also indicated that attendees would have liked more museum gallery time built into the schedule, and that they found the parallel sessions frustrating as they were unable to attend all talks. The closing discussion revealed that almost all audience members would have liked to attend the museum education-based talks, and yet the majority chose the alternative parallel session, perhaps sticking within their own comfort zones. The parallel format was an inevitable compromise used in order to balance the objective of including as many as possible of the wide range of speakers who all submitted high quality papers. Perhaps however, rather than making the sessions thematic in the traditional fashion as we did, we could in future make them truly interdisciplinary. Mixing up sessions might feel a little odd, but our experience suggests that, in terms of improved exchanges between disciplines, the rewards might be significant!’.

Our thanks to Elsa and Kate for this write-up and organising what was a most enjoyable conference – of so many different parts. Of especial note are the follow-up’s to that conference in the networks set up and renewed, they are there to use. (If you have an idea or proposal on what CBA North Committee should give a grant to aid this year, please feel free to get in touch).

The 2019 Elgee Memorial Lecture: Durham and Dunbar
Maureen Norrie, Editor of the Teesside Archaeological Society’s Bulletin, has written to us of another connected community of the past – those soldiers of the Scottish army imprisoned at Durham – and also of a community of the present in how the annual Elgee Memorial Lecture works between a number of local groups. By the kind permission of the Teesside Archaeological Society we reproduce her write-up, which also appears in the current TAS Bulletin, for everyone in the CBA North membership. She writes;

‘This year’s Elgee Memorial Lecture (7 December 2019, Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough) was a ‘flagship’ event for TAS. It was our turn to host it on a once-in-four-years occasion, taking turns to do so with three other local Societies: Cleveland Naturalists Club, Cleveland and Teesside Local History Society, and Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society. It is co-hosted annually by the Dorman Museum in honour of Frank Elgee (1881-1972) ‘archaeologist, geologist and naturalist, who is probably the best-known Curator of the Dorman Museum and [who] made a lifelong study of the North Yorkshire Moors, including its archaeology’ (Phil Philo, TAS Bulletin 2017, p.22).
 
That’ll be one of them Scottish soldiers, then’. In his talk on ‘Durham and Dunbar, Scottish soldiers at Palace Green’, Richard Annis (Archaeological Services, Durham University) described the unexpected discovery in 2013 of two (partial) mass graves in an overgrown, enclosed, yard on the western side of Palace Green, Durham, during preliminary works for the construction of a Café at Palace Green Library. The bones did indeed prove to be (as a digger-operator predicted) Scottish soldiers: prisoners-of-war from the Battle of Dunbar, 3 September 1650, who survived an eight-day forced march from the battle-site to Durham, only to die in Durham of (mostly) dysentery.


Elgee Memorial Lecture, Dorman Museum 2019. Centre Richard Annis (speaker), Freya Horsfield and Kira-May Charley (Chair and Deputy Chair respectively of TAS, either side of Richard)

‘The talk included not only the dead soldiers, and what forensic investigations could reveal about their lives; but also what could be learned about their surviving comrades, some of whom were transported to America and, after a period of indentured labour, remained there. Full details are included in ‘Lost Lives, New Voices: unlocking the stories of the Scottish soldiers from the Battle of Dunbar 1650’, co-authored by C Gerrard, P Graves, A Millard, R Annis, and A Caffell.

‘The bones were reburied in Elvet Hill Road Cemetery, Durham City, in May 2018, and a permanent headstone installed. There are also plaques to their memory in the site where the bones were discovered; and in Durham Cathedral (their former prison) alongside the altar to Queen Margaret of Scotland, in the Chapel of the Nine Altars’.

The Elgee Memorial Lecture as Maureen indicated also a connected community of groups interested in the varied interests of Frank Elgee. A list of all the previous Elgee Lectures, together with the host organisation, can be found on the TAS website here. Can you fill in the blanks for the missing lectures? Were you there? We are sure that TAS and their partners would welcome that information.

CBA National news;
1) The Birmingham National-Regional CBA Groups meeting

Claire Corkill, Development Manager, has written of what is underway between CBA National and the other Regional CBA Groups. These notes show how your responses from the December 2018 survey and March 2019 are being taken on to help shape both North and National direction for a better future.


Claire writes;
‘CBA North is part of a network of regional groups across England and Wales all working with the shared goal of ‘Archaeology for All’ and helping to create opportunities for more people to get involved with archaeology. Representatives from the CBA and the CBA regional groups met in Birmingham in January to discuss opportunities to work together more closely in the future.

‘Part of the inspiration for this meeting were the outcomes of the CBA’s audience development survey funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and undertaken by Tricolor 2018-2019. Many thanks to those of you who completed the survey or participated in one of the associated workshops. The survey highlighted the value of the regional groups, and January’s meeting was the first in a number of conversations that aim to develop the relationships between the regional groups and look at ways to improve communications and share ideas and information. Our next meeting of the CBA regional groups is already planned for a Saturday in June.

‘The CBA are currently preparing a further bid to the NLHF and regional group representatives had the opportunity to share their thoughts on elements, such as a possible new CBA website, digital assets and skills development. The development of this work in conjunction with the regional groups will help enable the CBA to provide more beneficial support, creating new opportunities to work together in the future, helping the groups to become more resilient and create more opportunities for members to get involved with archaeology’.

A CBA North’s comment on Claire’s notes is below; 
 
‘We cannot say if many CBA North members took part in the online survey, only you can know if you or group did, however a goodly number did – but we thank you nonetheless. We were especially pleased to act as host for one of the only three on-the-ground workshops in Newcastle last year, and thank those members and friends who attended that event.

‘It is pleasing to see that work from the survey and workshops is being taken on board by CBA National. Many of you have felt that there has not enough prominence and support of the local-regional-national family in evidence over recent years. However, to our mind this work is actively reinvigorating all parts of the family. Your views so far have been carried into the report of the survey, as well as in our representation at Birmingham, and at other meetings, for you. Already the next CBA regional groups meeting is in our diary for June. Your views, comments and feedback are most welcome at any time, useful to us and where possible enacted upon …but we do need them in the first instance.

‘We are looking at a possible April event primarily for our local group members within the CBA North network (perhaps for those groups who are not yet members as well?). This may be on who, how and what and we are currently doing – and importantly what you/they would like to do in the future. We approach the end of our own current five year plan and this, combined with the revitalisation of CBA National, gives a chance to look ahead, perhaps a bit more definitely within that CBA family of local-regional-national groups’.

2) CBA National’s Communication and Participation in Archaeology Survey: some initial results and a thank you!
In our last email to you we also carried the links to a current CBA National survey as pictured below. Thank you to all of those that on contributed to that survey. This very much follows on from the Birmingham meeting described above by Claire.

James Rose, who you will remember is CBA National’s Communications and Marketing Manager, writes of the survey results;

‘The CBA recently ran a survey on communication and participation in archaeology. The aim was to gather evidence that demonstrated whether there was public demand for some of the changes and improvements the CBA would like to make to their website in support of an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

‘Firstly a huge thank you to those that contributed. The response was fantastic! Almost 800 people completed the survey from a cross-section of people with all levels of interest in archaeology. They results show that people are keen for more news and content, information about careers and learning and, crucially, more ways to participate. CBA regional groups are vital to providing those opportunities. These results show what valuable work they do and how much potential there is to grow with local group and individual members. You can view the initial findings on the CBA blog here. A short video lasting a minute has also been prepared giving many of the responses to the survey, many showing the value of archaeology in other ways. This can be found as this YouTube video.

‘If you have any more comments or suggestions, please do get in touch through the links here for CBA National or CBA North‘.

County Durham Archaeology Day: Saturday 21 March 2020
Tracey Donnelly, of the Archaeology Team, Durham County Council, has sent us details of this year’s County Durham Archaeology Day. This year it is slightly later than normal, but nonetheless if you’re interested in archaeology come along and find out more. This year’s fascinating talks will be:

– New Investigations at the East Park Roman Settlement, Sedgefield. Josh Hogue, DigVentures
– Excavation at Binchester Roman Fort 2019. Steve Collison, Northern Archaeological Associates
– The First Ever Excavations at Middleham Castle, Bishop Middleham. Josh Hogue, DigVentures
– Excavations at Walworth Deserted Medieval Village. Richard Carlton, The Archaeological Practice
– Investigations on the North Terrace of Auckland Castle 2019. Jamie Armstrong, Archaeological Services Durham University
– The Discovery of Bek’s Chapel at Auckland Castle. John Castling, The Auckland Project
– The Portable Antiquities Scheme 2019. Benjamin Westwood, Finds Liaison Officer Durham and Tees

The essential details are;

Location: Council Chamber, County Hall, (there is ample free parking at County Hall, and County Hall is well served with public transport. Durham City Park and Ride Scheme buses also stop at County Hall).
Time: 9:50am – 4:00pm. Doors Open at 9:15 AM
Cost: £18.00 which includes buffet lunch, teas & coffees; £14.00 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.

To book and pay for a place online follow https://doitonline.durham.gov.uk/ and click on ‘More Services’ and select ‘Archaeology Day – Order Tickets’ or contact 03000 260000 if you wish to book and pay over the phone. Please note that requests for tickets to be sent out in the post will incur a £1 postage and packing fee.

There will be displays by local societies and archaeological contractors as well as bookstalls in the adjacent Durham Room. As noted CBA North will be there with a stall, we as CBA North might even have some bargain books for sale there. We cannot promise that they will be those below, but there might be.

CBA North news – the archaeological year is not yet out!

CBA North News

Our latest installment once again spans the variety of the CBA North region and of what various groups are up to across the region. We look at what has happened this year with the Dig Appleby project of the Appleby Archaeology Group, happening the now with events this week of the Teesside Archaeological Society and others, as well as announcing events that will be happening in December further north in Sunderland and yet further north again in lectures of the Border Archaeological Society and Till Valley Archaeological Society in the following week as well.

Best wishes,

CBA North Committee
29.11.2016

Local group round-up; DigAppleby 2016!
[We hope this is the first update from the local groups across our region describing their activities in 2016. As Members will recall we were given a foretaste of the project in our AGM; here you can find out what happened, Ed.]

DigAppleby got off to a splendid start on 8th July when around 30 volunteers signed up for duty at the Launch Meeting in the Market Hall’s Supper Room. Since then, many more people have come forward to offer their gardens for “archaeological investigation” or to enroll on our various training events.

We chose the allotment area behind St Anne’s Almshouses for our first foray. This is a large, open, grassed area that had the advantage that we could spread ourselves about without bothering anybody. Moreover it was thought that, given the nature of its historical use, there was a good chance that deeply-buried medieval remains might remain undisturbed.

The first weekend saw volunteers producing detailed geophysical and topographic surveys of the site. We used both earth resistivity and magnetometry surveying equipment. This sounds rather technical but was actually very easy to operate and, once the results had been fed into Martin Railton’s computer, our first peek into Appleby’s past was quickly revealed.

After due consideration of the results, two test-pit sites were selected and a second weekend session was scheduled. There was no shortage of volunteers and, further encouraged by some excellent weather (the Almshouses really are a delightful place to work) the pits were duly dug and our first finds began to appear. The first pit revealed a crude cobbled surface, identical to one found previously at the top of Boroughgate and which we believe to be medieval in date. Fragments of pottery were recovered including some medieval pottery, and later wares, also some hand-made nails, some animal bone and glass. In the second test pit we found a deep deposit of rubble. Associated finds indicated this was 19th century and we believe that this is probably the demolished remains of a buildings shown in this location on the 1861 Ordnance Survey map. This confirmed the results of the geophysical survey, which indicated the presence of a high-resistance area.

More test pit excavations were planned for our “Big Dig weekend” between Friday end of 16th and Sunday 18th September. See applebyarchaeology.org.uk/digapplebyblog for details of these.

Elsewhere, and specially tailored for armchair archaeologists, we held a training session to provide an introduction to the arcane art of medieval document transcription. This proved so popular that we had to schedule a second session. The documents proved to be remarkably tricky to decipher and some of us came away with severe headaches and a renewed interest in the delights of using trowels. But it was all very interesting and gave a surprising insight into the medieval mind.

There’s still a long way to go, of course, before we get anywhere near the objectives we have set for DigAppleby, but we feel we have made a jolly good start!

Martin Joyce
Appleby Archaeology Group

[The first Appleby Archaeology Group event of 2017 will give a progress report on these investigations as well in talks by a number of contributors].

Teesside Archaeological Society events
This week sees a pair of events with the Teesside Archaeological Society across the Pennines from Appleby. A bigger piece of archaeological work is reviewed tonight with the last of the society’s own lectures on the excavations associated with the current A1 upgrading between Leeming and Barton by Helen Maclean of AECOM at Stockton Central Library, Stockton, at 7.30 p.m. to which everyone is welcome.

On Thursday there is a second chance to attend the First World War Building Recording Project of the society which we have covered earlier. This workshop will train you in how to undertake building recording, research methodologies, and identify First World War built structures. This knowledge can then be utilized in your involvement undertaking of building recording within the area. The information obtained in this process, will be published and made publicly available to people around the world for a better understanding of these important structures.

As before this will be at Sir William Gray House at Hartlepool; no previous experience is required. This free workshop will take place on Thursday 1st December. If you would like a form, or to book a place, please contact the Teesside Archaeological Society through the links of our website.

The Frank Elgee Memorial Lecture 2016
Also on Teesside this week also sees the Frank Elgee Memorial Lecture in Middlesbrough on Saturday morning. This annual memorial lecture is named after Frank Elgee who was a noted assistant curator and curator of the Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough, between 1904 and 1932 and author of many articles and books concentrating on the Teesside and North Yorkshire Moors covering the archaeology, folklore, geology as well as the flora and fauna of the area. Further details on Elgee can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Elgee.

Sunderland’s Forgotten Stones
Whilst some events look back to what has happened in 2016, some events look forward to events and projects happening in the future. One of these meetings is detailed below to which all interested in the project are invited to attend by Denny Wilson below for us.

There is to be a public meeting for this project with the archaeologists at the Billy Hardy Centre, Castletown, SR5 3EQ, 7pm on Wednesday, December the 7th.

The local volunteer group Castletown Neighbourhood Action Group (CNAG) based in Sunderland, have been awarded £93,900 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for this project.

In a specification written up by Tyne and Wear County Archaeologist and professionally supervised by accredited archaeologists local volunteers and schools, supported by Sunderland City Council, will investigate several interlinked sites around the city to try and identify the origin of an ancient stone structure that once spanned the River Wear between North and South Hylton.

For centuries historians have long debated the origins of this mysterious stone structure but a definitive answer has yet to be found to various questions;

– Was it a bridge, dam, causeway or weir?
– Why was it built?
– When was it built?
– Who would have had the motive, wealth, manpower and skills to construct such a massive piece of civil engineering?

This project will bring together many people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities to try and find the answer. To kick-start the project there is to be a public meeting with archaeologists from Wardell Armstrong at the Billy Hardy Centre, Castletown, 7pm, on Wednesday 7th December.

The archaeologists will give an outline of the project and anyone interested in being involved is invited to attend. Feel free to circulate and let’s look forward to a productive and enjoyable experience!

Regards
Denny

December Events
Meanwhile the north of CBA North’s region is not to be outdone either. Next week there are a pair of lectures at Berwick and Crookham with the Border Archaeological Society and Till Valley Archaeological Society respectively.