Update on preparing and scanning stones (10th-12th May 2017)

It has been a really hard few days for the team who prepared the stones for scanning at the Roker and River Wear sites.

Ian, Jude, Alan and Alexander were at the sites and Keith documented the days with photographs of the sites and of individual stones and finds. Thank you for all your time, hard work and effort in not very pleasant circumstances.

Although the weather was fine for the work at Roker by the end of the week it had changed to dull, overcast and cold with showers – not very pleasant when working up to the ankles in mud and river weed. Both sites were very slippy and Alexander needed help to conduct the scanning so the expensive equipment did not get damaged. The work could only be conducted at low tide.

Alex Turner conducting the scanning (Picture M.Rainford)

However, it was a really productive few days with many new discoveries, important and significant finds.

Ian Stewart preparing Brig Stones at Roker (Picture by Keith Cockerill)

Some of the stones at Roker were found to bear cross marks which could be either masons marks or marks placed on stones when ordering from a quarry. These cross (X) marks are also turning up at the River Wear site providing a link.

Brigg Stone at Roker in process of being prepared for laser scanning (Picture by Keith Cockerill)

Another exciting find was a Mill Stone (found by Ian) but Jude  was very happy to find some wood which was still intact in Roman concrete.

Corn grinding stone found by Ian Simpson

Keith Cockerill (author of Bridges of the River Wear), who has helped with lots of information on this website and supplied many of the photos , has found further information regarding mill stone production in Sunderland in Taylor Potts 1892 History of Sunderland and has reproduced the page here for us  from his own original copy of the book.

Extract from Taylor Potts 1892

On Thursday 11th May the team were entertained by otters down on the river which was an added bonus – but sadly no pictures as yet!

River Wear team preparing Brigg Stones for scanning (Picture M.Rainford)

Brigg Stones to prepare for scanning (Picture M.Rainford)

Scanning completed on Friday 12th May nd everyone is eagerly awaiting the scan report.