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Headlines from the Home page and other stories


NAA would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Please follow this link for opening times over the festive period

Thanks to everyone who took part in the community excavation at Seaham. Keep watching this space for updates in the new year

Work now complete on the community survey of the Roman fort at Greta Bridge. Click here for further info

NAA are about to start work on a Parkland Management Plan for Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire

NAA have uncovered a skeleton during sewer replacement work for Yorkshire Water in Sutton Street, Norton-on-Derwent.
Ryedale skeleton Archaeologists from Northern Archaeological Associates were monitoring the excavation after research showed that the area used to be the site of a Roman cemetery, with a number of burials uncovered during the construction of St Peter's Church in the late 19th century. The Roman cemetery was located alongside Langton Road, which roughly follows the line of a Roman road leading south-eastwards from the fort at Malton and the settlement of Derventio (Norton). Burials could not be placed within the limits of a town in the Roman period, as this was regarded as unclean.

The skeleton was discovered almost 2m below the road surface, and was laid in a grave in a "crouched" or foetal position, possibly mirroring birth. While it was located within the limits of a Roman cemetery, it has similarities with burials of prehistoric date. No grave goods were placed with the burial.

Ryedale skeleton The skeleton has been removed in order to protect it from damage from the installation of the sewer pipe, and will be taken to the offices of Northern Archaeological Associates in Barnard Castle for further analysis. The remains will be examined by a specialist to establish the sex of the individual and their age at death, as well as whether they had any injuries or illnesses.

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NAA are about to start a three week community excavation of the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Flower Field, Seaham from 3 - 17 Dec. Please email us if you would like to take part and keep watching this space for further updates.

Working with volunteers from AASDN, NAA will be from undertaking a 5 day geophysical survey of the Roman fort and vicus at Greta Bridge, County Durham beginning on the 9th Dec. Drop us a line if you would like to take part.

There was a great turn out at last weeks South Yorkshire Archaeology Day. Richard Fraser's gave a talk on the excavations undertaken on the new Aldi Distribution site at Goldthorpe. For further details on the site click here

Paul Johnson will be leading a guided walk around Kirkleatham stables and landscape on the 23rd Feb 2014. Follow link for more details

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Matt will be leading a community archaeology recording weekend at the Nenthead Lead Mines on the 19th and 20th October.
NAA are currently working together with Countryside Consultants on the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan which will hopefully help secure the future of nine structures which form part of the wider Nenthead Mine complex. As part of this programme of work there is the opportunity for volunteers to take part in a recording weekend, learning more about these fascinating surviving structures and how they will be preserved. Matt Town from NAA will look at the use of archive documentation in researching the history of mines, survey techniques and the use of photography, and the preparation of a written record. Peter Kempsey of Countryside Consultants will also be on hand to demonstrate how the condition of a Heritage at Risk structure is assessed and the options for consolidation.
Numbers are strictly limited, but if you are interested, or would like further information, then please contact Matt on 01833 690800 or

Roker Lighthouse HLF bid successful!
Click here for Sky News coverage
Click here for project info

Article in the Gazette about Cleadon Tower building recording Read more
Day now fully booked!

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Great turn out this weekend (14th/15th Sept) for the Cleadon VA exhibition as part of the Heritage Open Day event.

cleadon-open day

cleadon-openday2 Visitors enjoying the displays at Heritage open day

Great feedback for NAA on our safety policy. Chris Halls, Skills of Life First Aid Instructor, recently stated 'NAA stick out as a proactive, forward thinking organization with a sensible, well administered first aid policy, regime and management'. Click here to see what others are saying about us

Heritage Open Day Event: Exhibition on the Cleadon VA this Sat, 14th at All Saints Church. Afternoon Tea served from 2pm too! Click here for further details

Hornby Castle. Exhibition of archaeological finds from the AASDN excavations. 2-5pm Sunday 15th Sept

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Cleadon Events: Sunday 1st Sept guided walk around Cleadon Village 11.00am - 1.00pm. Meet at Village Pond - Grade easy

NAA make the news. Article on recent excavations at Cleadon

Cleadon Events: Monday 12th August - Lauren Proctor, the North East Find Liaison Officer will give a talk on archaeological finds in the region and the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Talk starts at 6.30pm in The Old Schoolroom.

Wednesday 14th August - guided walk of the Cleadon Hills led by Ivan (ecology), Brian (geology) and Penny (history/archaeology). Starts 5.30 - 7.30pm. Meet at the entrance to the entrance to the Water Works. Click here for further details

Excavation Update: The Cleadon Mill Farm excavation was a huge success

Thanks to everyone who made the excavation last weekend such a success, including all those who took part or came along to visit. Overall, we had in the region of 20 people with several people coming for both days. I hope everyone found the event a rewarding experience, I know the dig team from NAA enjoyed it immensely.

The day was also rewarding in terms of the archaeology, and we now have a much better understanding of the mill and farm complex. Prior to undertaking the dig, the 'discovery' of the early 1806 plan, tucked away at the Northumberland record office, indicated that the tower mill was probably late 18th century in date, rather than 1820 as previously believed. We know that Whitburn Mill was rebuilt around this time following a storm in 1790 which destroyed the earlier mill. It seems more than likely that Cleadon's post mill may have suffered a similar fate and been subsequently rebuilt at around the same time. We didn't find any evidence pre-dating the 18th century but that is not to say that there wasn't earlier occupation on the site as we only excavated a relatively small area.

We opened two trenches in the main farm complex, both approx 5m x 1m. The archaeology lay very close to the surface with the farm walls being visible almost immediately. At the end of Day 1 the site was surveyed and the resulting plan overlaid onto the earlier maps, the archaeological and documentary evidence working together to further our understanding of the farm. The walls proved to be the western wall of the east range (Trench 1) and the southern wall of the south range (Trench 2). There was a sequence of interior and exterior floor surfaces relating to these and an odd internal feature with a curved base. However, in true Time Team tradition we were left with a number of unanswered questions which might warrant further research in the future.

Unfortunately, we didn't get round to excavating the potential military trenches because we thought it was better to remain focused on the main complex and not get distracted. However, John, one of the participants on the excavation, remembers 'digging out' shell cases from the trenches when he was a boy, so it seems that these were military trenches and not features relating to the golf course. Does anyone else have any memories of these features?

The date of the trenches remains unknown. Again, this might be the focus of further work in the future. I have contacted a military historian who might be able to help out with further information when he gets back from his holidays.

Click here to see a gallery of photographs from the excavation.

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Cleadon's Own Time Team: Excavations this weekend at Cleadon Mill
Cleadon Mill at turn of the 20th Century
Cleadon Mill at turn of the 20th Century

Cleadon residents will be rolling up their sleeves this weekend and grabbing their trowels for two days of archaeological excavation on the site of the old Cleadon Mill Farm, which lies just to the north of the windmill. The event is aimed at giving local people a taste of what a real archaeological dig is like and is being organised as part of an ongoing programme of activities associated with Cleadon Village Atlas Project funded by the Limestone Landscape Partnership. We are hoping that people of all ages turn up this weekend to get first hand experience of the techniques used to investigate an archaeological, from cutting the first turf through to the production of the final report.

Volunteers from the Village Atlas team have already been helping the archaeologists uncover the historic development of the village and research the development of the mill site. Over the past couple of months workshops in landscape survey, local history and built heritage have provided a wonderful opportunity to pool information and build up a comprehensive picture of the history of the village. As a result of this work we now understand a lot more about the development of the mill and associated farm. It is hoped that this weekend's excavation will provide datable material to help establish when the farm was founded and provide further evidence of what life in Cleadon was like 200 to 300 years ago. If we have enough people, and enough time, we may also excavate a small section through on of the linear features to the west of the mill to try and determine if these are the remains of practice trenches dug during the First World War.

Anyone is welcome to join in the excavation, whether you are a Cleadon resident or not. Excavation takes place between 10.00am - 4.00pm. Please meet at 10.00am on both days at Cleadon Mill. You will need to bring your own gloves as well as a kneeling matt if required, but all other tools will be provided. It is hoped as the dig progresses that some people will also be involved with finds cleaning and processing. Remember to come along adequately kitted out for the weather - sun screen and hats and/or wet weather gear. You will also need a packed lunch. Please be aware that there is no parking onsite.

If you would like any further information on the dig or the Atlas Project then please contact Penny Middleton at or call direct on 0191 3750943. The Cleadon Village Atlas Project is organized and funded by the Limestone Landscapes Partnership, administered by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

History of Cleadon Mill pdf download here

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Nenthead Lead Mines
Panoramic view from smelt mill chimneyPanoramic view from smelt mill chimney

We are delighted to have been commissioned to undertake the archaeological research and survey elements for the Management Plan for Nenthead Mines, Cumbria (a Scheduled Monument), in a team headed up by Countryside Consultants of Alston. The project aims to indentify those elements which place the scheduled mine at risk, including things like weather and water erosion. Those sites included in the study will be:

  • The smelt mill complex, which originates in 1737, and includes the Pattinson House where Hugh Lee Pattinson perfected the de-silvering of lead in 1833
  • The flue and chimney, with the massive remains of the Stagg wheelpit, built in 1847 to power Joseph Stagg’s patented fume condenser
  • Ponds, retaining walls, and minor buildings, including a gunpowder store at Smallcleugh Mine.
Matt from NAA and Peter from Countryside Consultants having a look at the survey area Matt from NAA and Peter from Countryside Consultants having a look at the survey area.

NAA will be working together with Countryside Consultants at each of these sites, undertaking building recording (photographic, rectified and metric survey) and further documentary research. Matthew Town, senior project officer, will be heading the team and co-ordinating the on-site works. Prior to working for NAA, Matt worked at the site for seven years, completing the final excavation reports on all the archaeological works undertaken at the mines since the 1980s. He also managed the fieldwork element of the miner farmer landscape survey project for English Heritage, covering 18 square kms around Nenthead and Garrigill.

Peter Kempsey with mine in the backgroundPeter Kempsey with mine in the background.

There are opportunities for volunteer participation during the survey and conservation assessment phases, in participation with the Nenthead Mines Conservation Society (, and future projects with the altogether archaeology project are also proposed.

Panoramic view from culvertPanoramic view from culvert

Keep watching for further updates or drop us a line if you would like to express your interest in the project.

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Cleadon Events: Archaeological Earthwork Survey Workshop, Sunday 21st July near Cleadon Mill

The Cleadon Dig - weekend of the 3rd/4th August. Keep watching for further details about how you can get involved.
Roker Pier and Lighthouse Phase I lottery bid now submitted. Fingers crossed everyone!

Cleadon Events: 10th July - Lucy Routledge, South Tyneside Conservation officer, is coming to talk about the Cleadon Conversation Area. Starts with a short talk and then a walk round the village. Meet at 6.30pm at the Old School house.

NAA make the news again. Article in the Sunderland Echo on the school's excavation day at Cleadon Primary

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Cleadon Events: 21st/22nd June Built Heritage Survey and 27th/28th Geology Workshop

Cleadon Events: trip to Beamish Archive organised for this Sunday (16th June) and Landscape Survey days on Fri and Sat (14th/15th June). Check the timetable on the webpage for more details.

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May 31st 2013

Cleadon events this week: Wed 5th June: Wildlife Identification and Surveying day NOTE the Landscape Survey on the 7/8th have now been moved to Fri 14th and Sat 15th. See events timetable for details.

May 16th 2013

NAA Excavations at Greatham Creek on Teesside have revealed a previously unknown Roman settlement. NAA have recently been undertaking excavations adjacent to Greatham Creek on behalf of the Environment Agency, in preparation of the opening of a new bird reserve on the internationally important inter-tidal habitat around the Tees Estuary. Excavations have revealed remains of a former late Iron Age/Roman settlement, previously unknown in this area, as well as evidence of Bronze Age and Iron Age occupation. The site is of considerable significance as it represents the first such evidence to be found next to the salt marsh on the north bank of the Tees. It has produced evidence of both enclosed and unenclosed settlement. Finds include flint tools including an arrowhead, thumbnail scrapers and blades; a range of prehistoric and Roman pottery, jet jewellery, a quern stone and evidence of ironworking. Keep watching the website for further updates.
For more information click here

Excavations at Greatham Creek make the news! Follow the link to the ITV website

Cleadon: there is another chance to hear Brian Young's fantastic talk on the geology of Cleadon at the Local History Group meeting on the 28th May Check the webpage for details.

Cleadon makes the news. Follow the link to the Shield's Gazette article

Upcoming Cleadon events: 23rd May - researching landscape survey, 28th May Geology lecture, 5th June Wildlife identification.

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May 6th

Cleadon events this week: Tues 14th a visit to the Beamish Collection (all welcome), Wed 15th Ecology session with children at the Cleadon Primary

Visit the Cleadon Village Atlas webpage for news and updates on the project Check out the new webpage

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April 2013

New topographic earthwork survey commissioned by the North York Moors National Park for at Roseberry Ironstone Mine

A home secured for the WWII Romney Hut at Plasworth; part of the former Bevin Boys training camp. More information to follow soon.

To make our website easier to use we have added a search box in the top right-hand corner. Give it a whirl

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March 2013

Cleadon Village Atlas launch event on 27th April at Cleadon Primary School. Starts at 2pm. Check out the new webpage

Penny will be talking on Red Scar and West Stonesdale lead mines at the upcoming Archaeology in the Yorkshire Dales event at Grassington on the 13th April. Click here for further details.

Roker Pier and Lighthouse Phase I lottery bid is now preparation. Click here for further information and details on how you can help.

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Febuary 25th 2013

HLF have announced the launch of Sharing Heritage, and exciting new funding scheme to help communities explore their local history. Drop us a line if you would like advice or help in getting your own local project off the ground.Sharing Heritage Page

New Project to Examine the Roman Roads Leading North from Thornton le Street Northallerton and District Local History Society are launching a new project at Thornton le Street Village Hall at 7.00 pm on Friday, 1st March. The project will investigate the Roman road system as it enters and leaves Thornton le Street and its subsequent routes to the Tees at Middleton St George and to the Swale at Catterick Bridge.

Brian Forbes of Thornton le Moor will present his current findings and Oliver Cooper, a Project Manager with Northern Archaeological Associates, will introduce the audience to related archaeological method. There will then be an open discussion to determine the way forward and to encourage local support.

There has been considerable speculation over the years regarding the routes taken by the Romans at this location. A road north to the Tees at Middleton St George is widely recognised, but a postulated road joining Dere Street at Catterick Bridge needs confirmation. The site in Thornton le Street is scheduled, but the scheduling needs a considered reappraisal.

Substantial documentary research has already been undertaken by Brian Forbes on the project, but the involvement of volunteers is sought, sufficient to develop a Heritage Lottery funded investigation drawing on professional archaeological expertise to supervise disciplined ground works, sufficient to ensure that an informed review can be undertaken.

Contact the society for further details and tickets
Penny will be discussing the result of last year's survey at Lumley Forge at the upcoming Durham Archaeology Day
Penny Middleton will be talking about the results of a recent programme of building and landscape recording at Lumley Forge, near Chester-le-Street at this year's Durham Archaeology Day on the 2nd March 2013. Tickets now on sale. It is also just confirmed that she will giving a talk at the upcoming Yorkshire Dales Day School on the 13th April:Click here for more information Entitled 'An unprofitable venture': the archaeology of two failed lead mines in the Yorkshire Dales' she will be looking at two lead mines (recorded by NAA in the National Park) which failed to live up to the dreams and expectation of their original investors.

Oliver Cooper will be discussion the results of the East Coast Pipeline excavations on the 22nd March 2013 as part of the East Yorkshire Archaeological Society lecture programme. The event is held at Hull University, Cottingham Rd, Hull, in room S1, floor 1 of the Wilberforce Building. It begins at 7.30pm. For further details visit the society's website. He is also Olly is giving a talk to the Northallerton and District Local History Society on the 1st March on the archaeological methods used to identify and record Roman Roads

Matt will be leading a guided walk in July; further details to follow.

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Febuary 5th 2013

We have just had confirmation that we have won The Cleadon Village Atlas Project, a community archaeology programme which we hope will involve lots of local people over the course of 2013. Keep watching this space for further updates SOON, including how you can get involved.

A number of NAA staff are talking at local events over the next few months:
Olly is giving a talk on the East Coast Pipeline excavations to the East Riding Archaeological Society, Penny is discussing recording at Lumley Forge at Durham Archaeology Day and Matt is leading at guided walk around Nenthead.

Penny Middleton will be talking about the results of a recent programme of building and landscape recording at Lumley Forge, near Chester-le-Street at this year's Durham Archaeology Day on the 2nd March 2013. Tickets to this event will be on sale soon, contact Durham County Council for details.

Oliver Cooper will be discussion the results of the East Coast Pipeline excavations on the 22nd March 2013 as part of the East Yorkshire Archaeological Society lecture programme. The event is held at Hull University, Cottingham Rd, Hull, in room S1, floor 1 of the Wilberforce Building. It begins at 7.30pm. For further details visit the society's website.
Matt will be leading a guided walk in July; further details to follow.

Summaries of both the East Coast Pipeline excavations and the Lumley Forge survey can be found on our In Focus Projects page

Dates for the AASDN community excavations at Hornby Castle are now available for the 2013 season
Hornby Castle Fieldwork Dates (Season 4 2013).
Fieldwork Dates:- 23/24 March, 13/14 April, 20/21 April, 4/5 May, 18/19 May, 1 / 2 June , 15/16 June, 13/14 July, 27 July, 10/11 August, 17/18 August, 24 August, 31 August/1 September ,7/8 September, 14/15 September, 12/13 October, 19/20 October, 2nd November.
Finds Processing:- 9 November, 16 November.
No experience or equipment necessary. If you would like to come along to any of the above dates, then contact the society's fieldwork officer, Erik Matthews on 07951380829 or email

Work continuing apace at excavations near Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil stripping now complete, revealing a complex prehistoric field system and potential burial site. Keep watching for further updates as work progresses.

The Yorkshire Moorland Assessment Project (YMAP) report is now complete. An English Heritage funded project, the YMAP project has resulted in a series of GIS tools to help inform and guide the future management and conservation of the Moorland historic environment; a nationally significant, but often vulnerable, resource. Further updates to follow.

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January 2013

Happy New Year to everyone. We hope you all have a healthy and prosperous 2013

Staff held at her majesties pleasure! - a monitoring and recording work undertaken recently at Durham Prison in advance of the construction of a new healthcare centre. Luckily all have subsequently been released!

Excavations starting this week near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, where we are anticipating finding the remains of a large Iron Age field system. Keep checking the website for updates.

Fingers crossed for good weather - evaluations due to start in South Lakeland early this month.

We have just completed a building survey of Roker Pier and lighthouse. Check out our Facebook page for photographs.

NAA support Water Aid - A big thanks to everyone who donated to Water Aid Christmas appeal - we have raised £260 so far. There is still time if you would like to contribute, please follow the link to our Just Giving page.

Update on Yorkshire Dales Moorland survey.
Click here for more details

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