Mineshafts and archaeology

Phase SI recently carried out a magnetic survey at a large site in Tyneside. The main purpose of the survey was to assess the site for potential archaeological remains as there were known archaeological sites in the surrounding area. The site was also known to have been mined at various times through a combination of mineshafts and opencast, although subsequently the mining areas had been backfilled and the site was currently in use as arable fields. The areas of previous opencast activity were not covered by the survey as any archaeological features in these areas would have been destroyed.

Phase SI have extensive experience of carrying out archaeological surveys and we were able to mobilise to site and undertake the survey and then report the results in accordance with English Heritage guidelines within a tight timescale. On average we were able to survey two hectares a day per surveyor over undulating ground.

The survey identified a number of interesting features including a possible archaeological trackway, the location of an old river system and also several mineshafts. The identification of the mineshafts was incidental to the main purpose of the survey but could be of great interest to any future development of the site as the shaft positions were significantly different to the locations shown on Coal Authority record plans. Additional possible shafts were identified by the survey which were not shown on the record plans.