Tyne and Wear HER(11513): Newcastle town wall, Orchard Street, Civil War finds - Details
Newcastle town wall, Orchard Street, Civil War finds
This stretch of town wall was breached twice in the Civil War - once by mine (on 19th October 1644), once by artillery. A mine crater is visible as a dip on the outer face of the wall. The infilled crater was archaeologically excavated in 1988 and was found to measure 6m x 5m and was ovoid and funnel-shaped. It was visible on both sides of the town wall. It had been backfilled with disturbed midden material containing clay pipe. The hurried repair work comprises a ragged section of joining on the exterior and poor quailty rubble repair on the inner face with earth and clay rather than mortar bonding. The breach by artillery, some 60.7m north of the mine breach has been more substantially rebuilt with a pantiles used to infill the gaps. The construction cut for the rebuild was backfilled with disturbed midden material. Some 30-40 cm of C16 material had built up against the inside wall face of this section of town wall. Above this was a deep midden of homogeneous purple ash containing animal bones and imported tablewares up to 2m deep. This was interpreted as nightsoil and domestic refuse rather than re-deposited material.
Notes taken during lecture by John Nolan 4th October 2008 "The Civil Wars on Tyneside as revealed by archaeology" at the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne Symposium 2008, The British Civil Wars in the North East; J. Nolan, J. Vaughan, C.P. Dobney, D. Jaques, 1993, The Town Wall...Orchard Street and Croft Street, 1987-89, Archaeologia Aeliana, 5, XXI, 93-149