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Tyne and Wear HER(17541): Marsden, limestone quarry, tunnel - Details

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S Tyneside

Marsden, limestone quarry, tunnel



Early Modern


Physical Evidence

A tunnel was uncovered by workmen at the quarry 31st August 2016. It contained wooden props and roof support. On September 5th , after further excavation, access was granted. The tunnel ran roughly from NZ40626414 towards the coastline for approximatley 40m - at this point it was blocked off. It probably started 10m further north from the entrance point available as redundant support posts were noted in the quarry face. The tunnel measured approx 2m in height which reduced to 1.6m at the eastern end. Where it runs beneath the line of the former Marsden railway a reinforced concrete and iron archway (13cm thick) was noted. At this point the arch measured 1.8m from outer edge to outer edge and 1.39m from the outer edge at the top to the ground. After the archway the tunnel narrowed and turned off towards the right - no further access was possible. The height at this point was difficult to ascertain as there was a very thick layer of mud on the floor. The whole tunnel (up to the point of the archway) was supported by upright wooden beams with a beam across the roof joining them. The beams were approx.1.10m apart - this grew wider when the tunnel changed direction. Finds - remains of a pulley, a possible coupling plate?, a glass bottle and tin can. It is possible that this tunnel was running towards other quarries to the SE before running to shore.




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