Rediscovery of a ‘lost’ leadmining site!
In September 2011 a team of Altogether Archaeology volunteers, supervised by Ross Cameron of Addyman Archaeology, undertook an evaluation of the site of the little engine house at Shildon near Blanchland. This was arranged as part of the Altogether Archaeology pilot project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage.
The well-known large engine house at Shildon, an important relic of the North Pennines lead industry, was recently consolidated as part of the AONB Partnership’s Living North Pennines Project. Much further information about this structure is contained in the archaeological report produced as part of the conservation project (see the link below). Back in the 19th century there were two engine houses at Shildon, but a series of old photos show the little engine house gradually collapsing and it was finally demolished in the 1950s. By 2011, virtually no sign of it survived above ground.
The work was designed as a small-scale evaluation, necessary to inform the future management and interpretation of the site around the large engine house. Using old maps and photographs, the site was located and three exploratory trenches were opened. Substantial remains of the little engine house were found in all three, including well-built stone walls standing several courses high, remains of the chimney, internal partition walls, and well preserved stone-flagged floor.
The results will be used to ensure the site is protected from damage, and in due course it may be possible to fully excavate and consolidate it for display alongside the large engine house.
A comprehensive report on the Little Engine House project will be available here shortly.
The report on the main Shildon Engine House project (not part of the AA project) will also be available here.
For further information about this work, or any other aspect of the
Altogether Archaeology project, please contact the Project Manager, Paul Frodsham: email@example.com