Community archaeology days at Bradley
Local residents take a look at how archaeological work at new surface mine has been planned and carried out
BANKS Mining have held two community archaeology days at their Bradley surface mine, in Co. Durham, through the liaison committee that was set up to help share information on all aspects of the scheme’s operations between the company and the local community.
Six amateur archaeologists from local interest groups, including the Land of Oak & Iron project, Leadgate Community History Group, Durham University students and the liaison committee members themselves, were invited to spend a day with the team of heritage consultants that is implementing the archaeological works set out in the Written Scheme of Investigation for the Bradley site.
The volunteers were able to take part in hand excavation, survey and recording work at East Billingside Farmstead, and view excavations which aimed to identify the remains of 18th century wagonways on the site.
Their work was carried out under the supervision of archaeology experts, who provided insights into how they approach and carry out these sorts of activities, and the importance of the findings to local historical records.
A subsequent event saw more than two dozen local people visiting the Bradley site, including a party of pupils from the nearby Collierley Primary School. The visitors were able to examine the excavations across the site and learn more about how the works had been undertaken and the history of the Pont Valley.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: ‘We work closely with archaeologists across many of our sites to ensure that detailed investigations are carried out and proper records kept of anything of interest that’s found.
‘We’re very pleased to have so much interest from the community in our events, as we have previously done in many other development locations, and to give them the chance to speak to the highly skilled specialists who are carrying out archaeological work on our behalf.’