Friday, November 27, 2015

Washingwell Project Meeting

Fugar and Washingwell Nov 15

About 2 years ago, I persuaded the Sunniside History Society to consider setting up a project to look into the history of the Washingwell area of Gateshead, part of which is in my ward. The society has since then enthusiastically pursued funding for the project to draw out the history of the past 2000 years in the Washingwell area which contains the remains of a Roman fort and medieval manor house, a Tudor culvert, ancient waggonways, early railways, ancient quarries, old coalmines and a historic orchard.

A couple of months ago, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced the project is to receive £10,000 to draw out the history of the area from the medieval to the modern era. We hope to carry out 2 other phases of the project in the years to come: an exploration of the Roman fort (which has not yet been excavated) and renovation of the historic orchard.

Tonight we had the latest meeting of the group running the project. I am leading on the work looking at the changing landscape and the flora and fauna which has inhabited the area over the past 1000 years. I will also be helping to do some filming about the project and to produce a dvd.

The project should be completed by October next year.

In the meantime, check out the photos I took recently in the Washingwell area. Washingwell Woods contains a number of features which are man made. They will need a great deal of study to work out what their purpose was. This is going to be an interesting project.

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