Volunteers unearth treasures from a community’s past

Left to right,  Ivor Crowther, Chris Mullins, Barry Mead, David Lodge, chief executive of Great Morpeth Development Trust, and Clive Waddington at Cresswell Tower.
Left to right, Ivor Crowther, Chris Mullins, Barry Mead, David Lodge, chief executive of Great Morpeth Development Trust, and Clive Waddington at Cresswell Tower.

Volunteers are unearthing some fascinating links to a village’s past as part of a community project.

Budding archaeologists are excavating trenches near Cresswell Tower in a community dig.

Professional archaeologists, led by Dr Clive Waddington, who was also the director of a dig which revealed evidence of early settlements at the Hauxley end of Druridge Bay, have paved the way for the dig, which runs until Monday.

Archaeologist and local resident Barry Mead, who is acting as assistant project manager, said: “The professional archaeologists supported by local volunteers who walked the field in front of the tower have already found some amazing artefacts more than 6,000 years old from the Iron, Stone and Mesolithic ages so we can’t wait to get our trowels into the ground to see what else we can find. Already we have discovered some fascinating artefacts from the past including flints, ancient axe-head fragments and pieces of Roman-British pottery which indicates human habitation in the village, and we expect to find much more as the dig progresses.”

Dozens of the finds, including some foundations of the original Cresswell Mansion House dating back to the mid-18th century, will be on show at an archaeology open day at Cresswell Village Hall from 11am to 3pm on Sunday. Tours of the trenches will also be taking place. Due to the presence of hibernating bats, visitors will not be allowed into the tower itself.