Tag Archives: 19th century

Marsden White Horse revamp ‘leaves a bad taste’

COUNCIL bosses have been challenged over the future upkeep of a historic local landmark.

South Tyneside Council came under fire after it restored the White Horse, which was painted on the rocks at Marsden Craggs in the 19th century – but decided did not to tell anyone about the revamp.

Now local resident Kevin Flett is demanding to know who is going to going to look after the iconic landmark which he and other people in the community had been taking care of over the years.

Council bosses say they want to work with local people to maintain the site.

Mr Flett said:

“The way it was handled has left quite a bad taste in the mouths of those of us who have been looking after the horse for a number of years now.

“We have all worked hard to maintain the area, seeking donations of paint and going on a regular basis to remove graffiti.

“Then along comes the council who just disregard everything we have done.

“They have managed to get rid of all the layers of history which had culminated over the years. You are never going to get that back.

“I know people who have volunteered their time to look after such an important part of the history of South Shields, but are very much reluctant to stay involved now the council has just steamrollered ahead with this.

“There has been no consultation about any of this work, and I would like to know now if the council are going to taking care of the upkeep of The White Horse in the future.”

Residents are also concerned that the work involved the entire crag face being scoured and that the horse is not so easily seen.

The background limestone turned black over the centuries – creating a stark contrast with the white horse. It is now a white horse on a light grey background.

South Tyneside Council said the work is being paid for with cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and it did not publicise it to combat potential vandalism.

The council insists the work was carried out to restore the White Horse “to its former glory”.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said:

“The White Horse is a landmark of significant local interest which holds a special place in the hearts of the people of South Tyneside.

“We have spoken to the community group, and a countryside officer will be meeting with them in the next few weeks.

“We would like to work with them, and any other interested groups, to agree a co-ordinated approach to protect and enhance the area of the Marsden Old Quarry Local Nature Reserve for both local people and visitors.

“We are carrying out further work in the area, such as repairs to fencing and litter picks.

“Any volunteers who would like to help to preserve the area are asked to contact the council. “

Source – Shields Gazette, 18 Sept 2014

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‘Scotland’s dodo’ bone found at Scottish Seabird Centre dig

A bone from an extinct bird known as “Scotland’s dodo” has been uncovered following an archaeological dig in East Lothian.

The bone from the Great Auk, a species last seen in British waters on St Kilda in 1840, was recovered at the Kirk Ness site, now known as North Berwick.

It was unearthed during a dig at the Scottish Seabird Centre.

Archaeologists said the find sheds new lights on human habitation of the area in the Middle Ages.

The archaeological dig, by Edinburgh-based Addyman Archaeology, and supported by Historic Scotland, revealed bones of butchered seals, fish and seabirds, including the bone of the Great Auk.

The upper arm bone of the flightless bird was unearthed at the entrance area of an early building and has been radio carbon dated to the 5th to 7th Centuries.

The seabird was a favoured food source in medieval times as it was easy to catch.

Human predation led to the decline of the species, ensuring that by the middle of the 19th Century it had become persecuted and exploited into extinction.

The penguin-like bird was 1m tall and its range at one time extended from the north-eastern United States across the Atlantic to the British Isles, France and Northern Spain.

Tom Brock, chief executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “The discovery of the Great Auk bone on site at the Scottish Seabird Centre is fascinating but also very sad.

“We are so fortunate in Scotland to have a rich variety of seabirds and we must use the extinction of the Great Auk as a warning to future generations to look after our wonderful wildlife and the marine environment as an absolute priority.

“There are both behavioural and environmental lessons that must be taken from this internationally-important finding, and as an educational and conservation charity we will remain dedicated to inspiring people to enjoy, protect and learn about wildlife and the natural environment.”

 

Tom Addyman, of Addyman Archaeology, said: “The discovery of the Great Auk bone at Kirk Ness is an illuminating find, as we seek to understand and document the importance of the area in the history of wildlife and human habitation in the Middle Ages.

“We hope that its discovery helps historians and conservation experts, such as the Scottish Seabird Centre, to educate future generations about the precious nature of our natural resources.”

Rod McCullagh, senior archaeology manager at Historic Scotland, said: “In the last two decades, there has been a renaissance in our understanding of the archaeology and history of early Medieval Scotland.

“The discovery of the remains of domestic buildings and the associated detritus of daily life at Kirk Ness gives us a glimpse of what ordinary life was like in East Lothian at this time.

“That ‘daily life’ involved the killing of such valuable birds as the Great Auk is no surprise but the discovery of this single bone perhaps attests to a time when hunting did not overwhelm such a vulnerable species.”

Source – BBC News    12 May 2014

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Ancient relics of St Cuthbert to be sold at auction

A piece of the coffin of St Cuthbert which was removed from his shrine at Durham Cathedral is to be sold at auction

The fragments of coffin and robe from St Cuthbert’s shrine are mounted in a display box thought to date from the 19th Century.

On what is the feast day today of St Cuthbert, it has emerged that the item will be sold on March 27 by auctioneers Anderson & Garland in Newcastle, with an estimate of £200 to £300.

The item has come from the collection of the late Ian Curry, who was Durham Cathedral architect from 1976-1997, and who died in 2012.

He served as president of Sunderland Antiquarian Society and was a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The shrine of St Cuthbert at Durham Cathedral was opened in 1827 by Canon James Raine, and several pieces of the coffin and cloth were removed.

In 1899, the shrine was opened again by antiquarian  Canon William Greenwell.

The pieces of the coffin were removed and the casket was partially restored in 1946 and again in 1978.

Cathedral head of marketing and events Ruth Robson said: “Canon Raine gave several pieces as gifts to friends and they do sometimes turn up.

“Perhaps Mr Curry bought this item in an antique shop.”

She said that the cathedral was considering bidding for the item. Mr Curry was born in Newcastle and lived in Sunderland.

The coffin will be among items which, it is planned, will be on display next year as part of the cathedral’s major Open Treasure project.

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Almanac – March 19

1649 – The House of Commons of England passed an act abolishing the House of Lords, declaring  that “The Commons of England [find] by too long experience that the House of Lords is useless and dangerous to the people of England.”

The House of Lords did not assemble again until the Convention Parliament met in 1660 and the monarchy was restored.

It returned to its former position as the more powerful chamber of Parliament—a position it would occupy until the 19th century. As usual in any cess-pit, the biggest chuncks always float back to the top again.

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1928 – Patrick McGoohan born. American-born actor, brought up in Ireland and Britain, where he established an extensive stage and film career, with his most notable roles in the 1960s television series Danger Man and cult favorite  The Prisoner, which he co-created, and  wrote and directed several episodes of .

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