Tyne and Wear HER(13624): Jarrow, medieval river walls - Details
Jarrow, medieval river walls
Water Supply and Drainage
Water Regulation Installation
C.D Morris of the Department of Archaeology at Durham University excavated at Easter and Summer 1973 for 11 weeks at a site south of St. Paul's Church by the banks of the River Don, west of Jarrow Bridge. This was a rescue excavation in advance of landscaping work. The excavation revealed several phases of riverside structure. A sequence of walls for a river frontage for the post-Conquest monastery ran parallel and at right angles to the river. There was no evidence for an Early Medieval phase. The walls showed evidence of re-building within the medieval period, presumably in response to river action. Final destruction was by the river in the late medieval period. There was a thick sandy deposit over the destroyed walls, which included small metal finds.There was evidence of a small stone-building building of late medieval date. The site was occupied in the 18th century by three brick cottages and the churchyard wall were built in its place. The whole site was then subject to chemical waste dumping in the 20th century. The medieval features continue northwards, eastwards and westwards. The third season of digging was at Easter 1976. A fragmentary east-west wall was found under the floors of the cottages. It was thought to be late medieval in date. It was built onto natural sand. Another stretch of the east-west wall recorded in 1973 was revealed. It was 1.5m wide at base. It had facing stones on both sides. The sides sloped inwards. The wall is likely to have been constructed to resist river action than than being a simple boundary wall. North of the wall and overlaid by compacted rubble, was an artificial clay bank with large stones set in the top and rubble spread down the face of the bank. The fourth season of excavation was in summer 1976. Excavation continued on the sand and clay bank. No clear dating evidence was found from the bank.
C.D. Morris, 1974, Jarrow Slake, Co. Durham in Archaeological Newsbulletin for Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, Westmorland and Lancashire-north-of-the-sands, No. 6, Jan 1974, p 10; C.D Morris, 1977, Jarrow Slake, Tyne and Wear (Co. Durham) Interim Report on Third Season of Excavations 1976 in Archaeological Newsbulletin for Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, Westmorland and Lancashire-north-of-the-sands, Series 2, No. 1, April 1977, pp 6-7; C.D Morris, 1977, Jarrow Slake, Tyne and Wear (Co. Durham) Interim Report on Fourth Season of Excavations 1976, in Archaeological Newsbulletin for Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, Westmorland and Lancashire-north-of-the-sands, Series 2, No. 3, Dec 1977, pp 3-5