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.
However, it was a really productive few days with many new discoveries, important and significant finds.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Scanning completed on Friday 12th May nd everyone is eagerly awaiting the scan report.