Tynedale North of the Wall Archaeology Group

Activities Section

Landscape Surveys 2018

We have secured landowner permissions to carry out initial walkover (Level 1) landscape surveys on two farms before the start of the lambing season in 2018.

Greyside Farm, Newbrough

Scheduled for Sunday 11th to Saturday 17th February.

Adjacent to areas of Carr Edge farm that we surveyed last spring, is a large unimproved field at the eastern end of Greyside farm. Those of you at Carr Edge last year will know that we spotted an interesting enclosure and signs of ancient boundary features immediately north of our then survey area.

ariel image of Greyside

Enclosure north of Carr Edge Plantation

The Historic Environment Record also lists an enclosed settlement further west in the same field. These features have not been surveyed in any detail and there is a good likelihood that a systematic walkover will reveal other unrecorded sites.

Rattenraw Farm Near Otterburn

Scheduled for Saturday 24th February to Friday 2nd March.

Last summer we visited Rattenraw to record a recently discovered enclosed settlement site. From just a couple of hours looking around it is clear that there is an exceptionally well-preserved and extensive Iron Age landscape. Whereas at most such sites lengths of field boundaries are intermittent and may run for a few dozen metres at Rattenraw we were able to follow boundaries for much further, encountering junctions with continuing boundaries visible in a choice of directions.

Add to this the extensive areas of well preserved cord rigg that aligns closely with the boundary features, plus at least one further enclosed settlement and it is clear that Rattenraw offers a very rich, largely unexplored, prehistoric landscape. Our brief overview also noted the remains of a number of other structures of possible medieval date.

ariel image of rattenraw

Rattenraw enclosed settlement with adjacent field system

Farmer Dennis Salt is very enthusiastic and keen to help us discover more. It is likely that this site will offer much opportunity for further investigations extending well beyond our initial walkover. It will be well worth the journey to reach the farm.

For further details please contact NOWTAG: tynedalearchaeology@gmail.com email

Made of stone but built on sand: what now for rock art research?

A talk by Don O’Meara, Historic England Science Advisor

Saturday 27th January, 2 – 4pm at Hexham Community Centre

Don O’Meara, the Historic England Science Advisor for the North East and Hadrian's Wall, has kindly agreed to give a talk for our members on Saturday 27th January, 2 – 4pm at Hexham Community Centre.

Don is based in Bessie Surtees House, Newcastle. After working for 10 years as an environmental archaeologist, mainly in the commercial sector in Northern England, he started with Historic England in September 2016. As part of his role he promotes and advises the use of science within the heritage and archaeological sectors.

We have been in discussion with Don regarding our Tynedale Rock Art Project and our intentions for further rock art investigations, including the proposed de-turfing exercise at Carr Hill.

Don’s focus on rock art stems from current concerns that many rock art sites are at risk from natural and man-made threats and may be deemed by Historic England as being ‘Heritage at Risk’. However, the sheer number of rock art sites, their remoteness, and the nature of the sites means that it is an immense challenge to monitor and conserve these sites.

His talk will discuss some of the earlier Historic England sponsored projects that dealt with rock art, where it is felt current priorities lie, and suggests ways in which best practice can be encouraged in the future. He will also discuss some on-going research by other groups that seek to use new scientific techniques or new technology to help monitor and conserve rock art.

There will be plenty of opportunity for raising any questions with Don and discussing with him our local concerns and research interests. This is certainly an opportunity not to be missed by anyone with an interest in our rock art heritage.

For further details please contact NOWTAG: tynedalearchaeology@gmail.com email

Wednesday 7th February 2018, Hexham Community Centre, 7pm.

Greyside Farm landscape survey
11-17 February 2018

Rattenraw landscape survey
24 February -2 March 2018

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