Historic remains saved from the sea

Archaeology dig, Low Hauxley cemetery site
Archaeology dig, Low Hauxley cemetery site

RARE Northumberland archaeology will be saved from the sea, thanks to a major funding boost.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £285,900 for excavations at Low Hauxley, Druridge Bay, to uncover nationally-important finds in the cliff face.

They include mesolithic remains, an early Bronze Age cemetery and ancient peat beds, which are vulnerable to the rapidly eroding site.

The Rescued From The Sea project will be led by Northumberland Wildlife Trust with the help of a small band of volunteers, who will be given specialist training in excavation, photography and small-find recording.

Druridge Bay Development Manager Steve Scoffin said: “Without the HLF funding this site would be lost to the sea — a part of our heritage gone before it was completely understood.

“This is a rare opportunity for professional archeologists and enthusiastic volunteers alike to come together and we have to thank the local communities, Northumberland County Council and Natural England in particular for their fantastic support in making this happen.

“The importance of this project to the Druridge Bay area cannot be underestimated. It is not just about the archeology and its context, but of people being inspired by and working together to understand their past and their landscape, and particularly the contribution this can make to the local economy.”

The project will also include interactive classroom sessions with more than 400 children, guided tours and talks and the opportunity for young offenders at HMP Northumberland to get involved.

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East Ivor Crowther said: “Rescued From The Sea will give people a fantastic insight into life in Northumberland through the ages.

“These exceptional finds will be carefully conserved and made accessible for everyone. The volunteers taking part will help shed light on the artefacts and piece together parts of our heritage that no one has seen before.

“We at the HLF are delighted to be a part of this special project and can’t wait to see the results.”

All finds will be archived at the Great North Museum.