Historic link uncovered

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A CENTURIES-OLD link to Morpeth’s past has been discovered high in the Cheviot hills.

Coquetdale Community Archaeology (CCA) has completed a ten-day dig on the River Coquet to explore the remains of a medieval fulling mill.

Records from Newminster Abbey in Morpeth show that its monks built a mill along that stretch of river.

Last summer masonry blocks and timber were found, and carbon dating has revealed they are about 800 years old.

More than 30 people have been working to expose more masonry and have revealed the wheel pit for the mill, as well as a large wooden structure upstream, which is thought to be the remains of a system of sluices.

Project Director Richard Carlton said: “It’s been an extraordinary two weeks. At the start we didn’t dream that we would find as much as we have. Once we’ve had time to think and analysed all our data we will have important insights into the way the mill was built and operated.”

Funding for the dig was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, the Council for British Archeology, the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, the Ministry of Defence and the National Park.