Community Archaeology Fieldwork in Tynedale, Northumberland – March 2014

Tynedale Archaeology Group Survey March 2014

Should anyone want to get involved in the forthcoming archaeological surveys then please contact my good friends at the Tynedale Archaeology Group. I have had the pleasure of working with them over the last year on surveys at both Ravensheugh Crags and Standingstone Rigg as part of projects funded by the Northumberland National Park and Altogether Archaeology.

The little things we discover every day….

Pet cemetery, Kings Road, St Annes on Sea

Pet cemetery, Kings Road, St Anne’s on Sea

Despite my eyes being expertly honed by many years of daily use for landscape investigation, it was my wife who yesterday discovered this lonely group of pet burials incongruously wedged between modern building extensions and a car park. I must have overlooked these many times over the last few years as I traveled down this street connecting the local library with the seafront Promenade.

It turns out that the burials are associated with The Grand Hotel which was built on the Promenade in 1897. At least the earliest examples are memorials for the dogs owned by Miss Kitty Holloway who ran the hotel from 1912 to at least the 1940s.

It never ceases to amaze me of how much is out there to discover if we only just stop, think and actually use our eyes to observe.

The Grand Hotel, St Annes on Sea

The Grand Hotel, St Anne’s on Sea

Pet cemetery, Kings Road, St Annes on Sea

Pet cemetery, Kings Road, St Anne’s on Sea

Reminiscences of sunnier climes

Ponte della Maddalena (Ponte del Diavolo), near Borgo a Mozzano - on holiday 2008

Ponte della Maddalena (Ponte del Diavolo), near Borgo a Mozzano – on holiday 2008

The weather outside is turning grim as I sit in the office. My desk is on the top floor of a cavernous mill building and whilst the long-johns don’t seem to be working I shiver slightly as I weld my hands onto a small fan heater. It may be hypothermia setting in but my mind wanders back to sunnier times!

I would normally be feeling sorry for my site colleagues around now as they are mostly all out digging in the snow/rain/mud, but the central heating in here has been broken for several days.

So I post here a single image, the Devil’s Bridge north of Lucca in Tuscany. It evokes fond memories of ice cream, hills, sunshine, lemoncello, scorpions, and badly-built Fiat hire cars etc etc. Depending on how long the heating is off I may post further holiday snaps.

Eden House, a cairnfield on the North York Moors near Whitby

Aerial view of the cairnfield and linear boundary at Eden House

Aerial view of the cairnfield and linear boundary at Eden House

This time last year we battled through the snow and ice on our journey over to survey a small cairnfield located on the North York Moors near Whitby. The report for this particular project has just been posted online to the OA Library and you can download it here. Did it really snow so late last year? I just can’t contemplate anything other than rain rain rain at the moment, but luckily (and selfishly) I’m still indoors writing up reports.

View of Eden House and the rough grazing behind it that contains the cairnfield

View of Eden House and the rough grazing behind it that contains the cairnfield

We undertook at topographic survey to record all of the surviving earthworks located on a small plot of rough pasture by the farmstead of Eden House, which is near the village of Hutton Mulgrave, on what was once part of Barnby Moor. The 4.66 hectare area of the cairnfield is statutorily protected as a Scheduled Monument, and as part of an ongoing management plan for it further detailed recording was needed. You can find a description of the monument here.

Eden House cairnfield - topographic survey

Eden House cairnfield – topographic survey

Eden House cairnfield - georectified aerial photography

Eden House cairnfield – georectified aerial photography

The survey was completed using a combination of photogrammetry and GPS survey. The photogrammetry was undertaken using photographs taken from a small UAV helicopter that were used to generate a metrically accurate model of the surface of the study area, including all surface features that were not obscured by vegetation. Some features were obscured, and so in addition a ground topographic survey was undertaken to record the more subtle features by GPS survey.

The survey presents a thorough record of all the archaeological structures and components identified in the form of a detailed measured plan, profiles across the putative deer park boundary, digital photography and an outline site gazetteer.

Surveying the hillforts of the Inner Tay estuary, Perth and Kinross

Law_Hill_Figure

The archaeological reports produced for each of the six surveyed hillforts around Perth have been uploaded online to the OA Library, and they can be downloaded here.

The detailed topographic surveys present a thorough record of all the archaeological structures and components identified on each of the hillfort sites in the form of a series of detailed and annotated measured plans.  Surveys were undertaken at Castle Law, Abernethy;  Moncreiffe Hill;  Moredun Top, Moncreiffe;  Grassy Law, Deuchny Wood;  Law Hill, Arnbathie  and Pole Hill, Evelick. In the case of the hillfort at Abernethy the survey also recorded the outlines of previous antiquarian excavations on the site.

The hillforts are late-prehistoric/early-historic defended sites of significant archaeological importance, both in terms of buried archaeological deposits and as monuments within the wider landscape. Significant elements at the core of all six hillforts surveyed during the present phase of the project are statutorily protected as Scheduled Monuments of national importance.

Hillforts_Surveyed_Perth_Kinross