On 30th March some members of the team inspected the dig sites, some of which are treacherous because of the mud and their location on the River. The sites have to be surveyed for health and safety reasons prior to the digs starting because everyone wants this Project to run smoothly and safely.
These images are from Nab’s End, where large, cut stones drop into the river at a shallow angle, ending in a shear face. It is situated below a steep cliff face, so it seems that access from the bank was never a consideration when it was built. What were these structures used for?
Members of the team report finding Civil War lead shot, old tools and Roman coins nearby so the site is obviously rich in history.
Although the Project is looking at the possibility of a Roman Bridge/dam being located at South Hylton, it will also examine other sites like this to explore the rich history of the River Wear from Iron Age to Industrial.
The Project is still tied up in pre-dig red tape due to the ecology of the sites being examined but hopefully the main archaeology work will be up and running soon.
If you would like to get involved without getting muddy please look at our News page where you will find volunteer research opportunities for 4th and 6th April.
Here is a link to Tyne and Wear Sitelines for more information about Nab’s End. http://www.twsitelines.info/SMR/2638
Photographs: Norman Kirtlan and Bev Taylor