Find out about the projects we have been involved with, which help to promote the archaeology of Northumberland.
Berwick urban waterlogged deposits
Archaeological excavations in Berwick have shown there are deep, complex and relatively undisturbed medieval layers buried under the town, some of which are waterlogged.
Waterlogged deposits are important because they preserve organic material, like leather, seeds, bone and shell, that doesn’t usually survive under other ground conditions.
Because waterlogged deposits are vulnerable to changes in ground conditions, for example through building schemes, the council was commissioned by Historic England to look at the distribution and significance of waterlogged deposits in the town so they can be properly considered in the planning process.
Evidence from archaeological and borehole investigations were used to make a model of the town’s buried archaeology using a geographic information system (GIS).
Extensive urban survey
The Northumberland extensive urban survey is a study of 18 historic towns in the county. It is part of a national survey to help local authorities, Historic England and others to care for our towns and cities in the future and to ensure archaeological information is available early in the development process.
The survey reports have been compiled over a number of years and will be kept under review to take into account recent discoveries, fieldwork, research and changes in planning guidance.
The reports can be downloaded below:
Further information about extensive urban surveys can be found on the Historic England website
Rock art is prehistoric rock carvings found on boulders and rocky outcrops in parts of Britain and Ireland. They are an important part of our historic environment and one of the more mysterious and poorly understood aspects of our past. We know very little about why the carvings and symbols were made and what it may have meant to the people who created it.
The Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project
Although stone is a relatively resilient material, water erosion and changing temperatures make many carvings very fragile. In order to record and conserve them, the Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project was set up in 2004 to pilot the creation of a rock art archive.
This archive has been made publicly accessible over the internet and forms the basis of the first ever national rock art database – England's Rock Art
The project developed a recording system which means that rock art across the country can now be recorded in a standardised way. This was achieved with the help of local groups and individuals and funding from English Heritage.
England's Rock Art
England's Rock Art
incorporates the work from the Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project and the Newcastle University Beckensall Archive Project
It is intended similar recording projects will eventually be undertaken for all areas of England which contain rock art and the database will be updated as the records become available.
Keys to the Past
Keys to the Past
is a Heritage Lottery Fund grant-aided project run jointly by Northumberland and Durham County Councils.
It provides online access to a complete record of the archaeology of the two counties, including a glossary, parish histories and background information about the archaeology and history of the region.
Keys to the Past is based on data held in the Northumberland and Durham Historic Environment Records.
Please note that archaeological contractors are advised not to use Keys to the Past as their main source of information as it holds only summary HER information and does not include the most recent updates.
is a New Opportunities Fund grant-aided project run jointly by Northumberland and Durham County Councils providing online access to seven very different archaeological sites.
Using virtual reality and interactive technology, with 3D reconstructions, you can navigate around reconstructions of the sites, learning about their history, how they were discovered and how archaeologists interpret the finds they discover.
A CD-ROM version is also available by contacting us by:
North East Regional Research Framework for the Historic Environment
The North East Regional Research Framework for the Historic Environment (NERRF) is one of a series of regional research frameworks promoted by Historic England in collaboration with local authorities.
Its purpose is to help make decisions about future archaeological and historic environment research in North East England (Northumberland, County Durham, Teesside, and Tyne and Wear). It will also help provide structure to developer-funded fieldwork.
Find out more:
Any queries or questions relating to the NERRF should be directed to Historic England (North East Office) by: