Tyne and Wear HER(1377): Newcastle, Westgate Road, oak log-boat - Details
Newcastle, Westgate Road, oak log-boat
In 1889, during the extension of the Post Office in Westgate Road "and immediately at the rear of the present post office premises", the hollowed- out trunk of an oak tree was discovered. The hollow was 7 feet long x 3 feet deep, and had probably been made by burning, and it was suggested the find was "either a boat or a coffin". "A number of horns, the cranium of an animal, and other things were found in the vessel". These finds must have come from a site close to the "very deep hollow...in the back street south of the General Post Office and on the west side of St. Nicholas Buildings" located by the North of England Excavation Committee in 1929. Heslop suggests that it was a votive offering in the same tradition as the deposition of metal objects in the preceding Bronze Age. The stream in which it was buried was never navigable in a practical sense. It was at the top of a steep bank on the level plateau above the river gorge. The stream was little more than a gutter in the medieval town. The boat may have been carried to its final destination which may have been important due to its proximity to the Great North Road (HER 1067).
<< HER 1377 >> The Antiquary, 1889, XX, p. 76 R. Miket, 1984, The Prehistory of Tyne and Wear, p. 39 no. 12 Reports of the North of England Excavation Committee, 1935, Roman Discoveries in Westgate Road, 5th Report, 1933-35, p. 8; D.H. Heslop, Newcastle and Gateshead before AD 1080 in Diana Newton and AJ Pollard, 2009, Newcastle and Gateshead before 1700, pages 1-22