Tyne and Wear HER(15058): Newcastle, Forth Street, Newcastle Glass Works - Details
Newcastle, Forth Street, Newcastle Glass Works
Shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1859. Included 4 glass cones and an an annealing kiln. In operation by 1849. Run by William Wright, ironfounder. By 1896, the area had become part of Robert Stephenson and Company’s engineering works (a pattern store). Goad’s insurance plan of 1896 describes the area as ruinous and the glass cones as in process of being demolished. The north-western cone had already been demolished by this time. At this time the old glass cones were being demolished. By 1930 the site was used as a plate shop by R and W Hawthorn, Leslie and Co. At some point after this, Patterson’s took over the site and now use it as a Ford van sale and hire centre. Well-preserved remains of the glass works were recorded by TWM Archaeology during evaluation trenching in 2005-6. A compact dark layer, probably a deliberately laid surface, contained small pieces of iron and glass. A layer of black silt and sandstone fragments overlaid this possible surface and formed the bedding layer for a surface constructed from basalt setts. At some point after its construction, the surface was repaired and a grindstone was inserted beneath a concrete repair. A floor surface, a stone and brick wall, a stone stanchion and a possible flue were recorded. This wall was mainly constructed from rough-hewn sandstone blocks with square-cut and dressed quoins. The east end of the wall was constructed from red brick and then fire brick in English Garden Wall 1 and 3 bond. The wall showed signs of heat damage. The sub-circular stanchion survived to three courses high and at least one more course was evident below the lowest limit of excavation. This stanchion was located 0.50m to the west of the stone wall and the side of the stanchion closest to this wall was much straighter than the rest of it in order to form a rectangular shaped gap between the two structures. This gap was filled with a deposit of coal dust, ash, glass slag and clinker. The brick surface was constructed from hand made red brick with a patch of sandstone blocks probably representing a repair. Overlying the brick surface was another possible surface consisting of a heavily compacted layer of coal dust. Fragments of glass waste and a heavily corroded iron bar had been compacted into this layer. Alterations were made to the structure - a sandstone and brick wall was constructed, running north from, but not keyed into, the east to west aligned section of the ‘L’ shaped wall. The lowest two courses of this wall were constructed from brick in stretcher bond with three courses of sandstone blocks laid on top. A step built from hand-made bricks and measuring three courses high was added to the south of wall. The vertical face of the step was covered with a 15mm thick layer of white plaster. The top of the step was smooth and blackened indicating signs of wear and exposure to high temperature. Once these structures had gone out of use, the area was backfilled. To the south and west of the wall, this backfill consisted of a 0.54m thick layer of black sandy silt containing coal dust, glass slag, glass waste, possible fragments of kiln lining, remains of crucibles, sandstone fragments and red bricks. Within the area enclosed by the wall, the backfill consisted of mid brown clay with inclusions of brick and stone rubble as well as a heavily corroded thick iron plate. Further excavation is required.
PLB Consulting Ltd with Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 2001, The Stephenson Quarter, Newcastle upon Tyne - Conservation Plan and Archaeological Assessment, page 6; Ordnance Survey First Edition 1859; JH Parker, Tyne and Wear Museums, 2006, Stephenson Quarter - Archaeological Evaluation