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Tyne and Wear HER(1958): Throckley, Wagonway - Details

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Throckley, Wagonway






Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

Wagonway shown on a "Throckley Plan dated back 150 years from 1863" which presumably dates to circa 1713, although the plan also shows the "Millitary Road" which was not built until 1751 (NRO ref. NRO 536/1). The wagonway linked Honey Pit (SMR 1956) to Meadow Pit (SMR 3953). Also shown on a plan of 1769 "A Plan of the enclosed lands in the lordship of Throckley in Northumberland, 1769" (NRO ref NRO 536/2) with Hill Pit (SMR 3952) added along its line and on "A Plan of the Inclosed lands of Throckley" of 1781 (NRO ref ZAN M17/197/A/37). The wagonway is not shown on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map of 1858 so was presumably out of use by this date {1}. An evaluation trench was cut across the line of the wagonway in July 2002. It was found to be of 3 phases. The earliest phase was a low-lying trackbed only 0.45m below modern ground level, at least 2.30m wide, cut into the natural subsoil. There was no evidence of sleepers or rails. To the east of this was an upcast bank comprising of re-deposited natural soil. The bank was 0.40m high and was 2.60m wide. On the west was a ditch, 1.18m wide and 0.38m deep. It had been infilled with crushed coal when it went out of use. A single stakehole was found cut into the western side of the ditch, presumably representing a simple fenceline. The second phase of the wagonway involved the infilling of the putative trackbed and western side of the bank and the levelling of the eastern side, to create a broad embankment at least 4.20m wide and 0.40m high. To the east, a broad shallow ditch was excavated, 2.30m wide and 0.20m deep. This too was filled with crushed coal when it went out of use. The third phase re-defined and deepened the wagonway's eastern boundary ditch. The wagonway went out of use in the late 18th century when Honey and Hill pits were closed and the area reverted to agricultural land {2}. A subsequent watching brief ound that the wagonway was multi-phase. Ten groups of sleeper impressions were recorded, representing a single track wagonway diverging into a fan of sidings leading to Hill Pit. Two phases of trackside ditches were recorded. During an evaluation in 2015 a section of the waggonway embankment and drainage ditch were exposed without the track or trackbed.




<< HER 1958 >> Tyne and Wear Museums, 2001, Throckley Middle School, Hexham Road, Throckley, Archaeological Assessment Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 2001, Throckley Middle School, Hexham Road, Throckley, Archaeological Assessment Geoquest Associates/Pre Construct Archaeology, 2002, Archaeological Evaluation at Throckley Middle School, Hexham Road, Throckley Excavation report,Geoquest Associates, 2003, Archaeological Watching Brief (Phase 2) at Throckley Middle School,Watching Brief Report; Archaeological Services Durham University, 2015. Throckley north, Throckley, Tyne and Wear, archaeological evaluation, report 3944, HER4865

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