Category Archives: ENGLAND

London: Crossrail dig unearths 13,000 Victorian jam jars

London: Crossrail dig unearths 13,000 Victorian jam jars

Marmalade was one of the condiments produced in the factory by Crosse & Blackwel

Marmalade was one of the condiments produced in the factory by Crosse & Blackwel

When the London Archeology Museum (MOLA) investigated the site of a proposed new London train station, they did not expect to find a stash of over 13,000 smashed pickling pots and jam jars dating back to the 1900s.

The stash was discovered during the construction of the railway station under an old nightclub. The area used to be a dumping ground for rejection from a factory that stood on the site until 1921 in Crosse & Blackwell (a British specialty food company).

The find included over 13,000 various containers. They ranged from bottles of mushroom catsup (a popular Victorian condiment) Piccalilli pots, and jars for marmalade and jam. All of them were discovered in a cistern that stood beneath the factory’s warehouse.

Nigel Jeffries, an archaeologist with the Museum of London Archaeology, explained that the cistern used to be filled with water during the factory’s production.

It was built in order to power the steam engines in the factory, but when the building was redesigned in the 1870s, the cistern became obsolete. After that, the cistern was used as a landfill by the Victorians.

Mushroom Catsup was popular with Victorians

Mushroom Catsup was popular with Victorians

While it may seem strange that archaeologists would want to dig up the Victorian trash pile, a person’s trash can tell us a lot about how they lived. Trash piles are a historian’s treasure.

This discovery is helping researchers learn more about “the tastes and palates of the Victorians”, Nigel Jeffries pointed out.

Crosse & Blackwell were based in this area of London between 1830 and 1921, right smack dab in the middle of the industrial revolution and the Victorian era.

Records of the factory say it produced “a very distinctive pungency to the surrounding atmosphere”, which is saying a lot considering it was hard to smell anything during that time period through London’s notorious smog.

The find was originally made by London’s Crossrail Project, a government-funded project that’s revolutionizing London’s train system and building a new railway for the city.

Due to the nature of the project, they have to do a lot of digging, and they’ve dug up all sorts of archaeological finds recently, including several skeletons dating back to the Black Plague, an entire mass-grave dating back to the Dark Ages, and some history of Bedlam Hospital. They’re taking great pains to ensure that no British history is lost in the construction of the new rail line.

These decorative jars were used to sell preserved ginger

These decorative jars were used to sell preserved ginger

Source: bbc

Traces of York’s First Railway Station Uncovered

Traces of York’s First Railway Station Uncovered

A fragment of the old York station.
A fragment of the old York station. 

During Construction Work on A New Housing Development in York’s historic English city, crews uncovered the remains of the very first railway station in the city.

According to Minster FM, a team from LS Archaeology, along with workers from Squibb Demolition, oversaw excavation of a layer of the site containing remnants of the historic structure, including platforms, train turntables, auxiliary buildings, and drainage systems.

The station was built in the 1840s, mostly from wood. The more durable remains were buried and preserved beneath more recent development.

Although the structure represented the vision of the 19th-century architect George Townsend Andrews, a man named George Hudson was the primary force behind the establishment of the station.

Known as “The Railway King,” Hudson was pivotal in framing and developing York as a transportation hub.

In 1833, Hudson became the largest shareholder in a railway line that would link his city to Leeds and Selby.

With this influence, he was able to route the line heading from Newcastle to London so that it passed through York.

Passengers would no longer simply bypass the walled city—a boon for its economic prospects.

By 1837, Hudson had become the chairman of the York & North Midland Railway Company, and within seven years, he controlled more than 1,000 miles of tracks.

The station eventually became obsolete; a new station was built around 1877.

One of the more pristine artifacts unearthed at the site, a train turntable, used to rotate entire locomotives and cars to go back the way they came or shuffle them off in another direction, will be included in the final landscaping of the new development.

Source: minsterfm

A 4,000-Year-Old skeleton discovered in Northern England

A 4,000-Year-Old skeleton discovered in Northern England

Workers uncovered the remains while converting a former stable block
Workers uncovered the remains while converting a former stable block

Builders working on a hotel in rural Northumberland have discovered human remains thought to be about 4,000 years old. 

The Tankerville Arms in Wooler was undergoing renovation work when they unearthed a Bronze Age stone burial chamber – or cist.

A digger driver was laying drainage pipes when he struck the stone made coffin before moving the cover slab back to see the hollow inside.

 Human remains thought to be about 4,000 years old have been discovered by builders working on a hotel in rural Northumberland. The Tankerville Arms in Wooler was undergoing renovation work when they unearthed a Bronze Age stone burial chamber - or cist
Human remains thought to be about 4,000 years old have been discovered by builders working on a hotel in rural Northumberland. The Tankerville Arms in Wooler was undergoing renovation work when they unearthed a Bronze Age stone burial chamber – or cist

Inside were human remains in a crouched burial position with a small, ‘beautifully fashioned flint knife’ found by the legs of the skeleton.

Archaeologists are examining it to find out the sex of the single skeleton and whether other remains lie around the site.

The team, from Northumberland County Council’s current estimates, suggest the cist dates from some time between 2,200BC and 1,750BC.   

Local archaeologist Roger Miket said the cist is formed of four upright stones with the cover slab on top.’ 

‘It may have been a woman because they were buried on their right side with their head to the west, although we can’t be certain until further analysis is done.

‘It also seems to have been charred so that is an interesting insight into the burial process, he said.

‘Of course, we have no idea of their religious beliefs but we have the symbols which give us some idea of what they thought so we know they believed in the afterlife. 

He said that the knife would have been a precious item at the time of the burial and was included in the grave for use in the afterlife.

Charlotte Lowery, the hotel manager said: ‘It’s been a very exciting few days here. It’s an amazing discovery. 

‘We’re having six self-contained holiday cottages built and the builders were just laying the last drain and came across a very flat, large stone and it became apparent it shouldn’t have been there.’ 

Northumbria has numerous archaeologically important sites from prehistoric cup and ring motifs, henges and hillforts including Ad Gedfrin, the palace of the ancient kings. 

Archaeologists are examining it to find out the sex of the single skeleton and whether other remains lie around the site. The team, from Northumberland County Council's current estimates suggest the cist dates from some time between 2,200BC and 1,750BC
Archaeologists are examining it to find out the sex of the single skeleton and whether other remains lie around the site. The team, from Northumberland County Council’s current estimates suggest the cist dates from some time between 2,200BC and 1,750BC

Source: bbc

The rare 13th century King John Royal Charter found in British Ushaw College Library

The rare 13th century King John Royal Charter found in British Ushaw College Library

 Dr Benjamin Pohl said the newly discovered charter could now be compared with an existing example
Dr Benjamin Pohl said the newly discovered charter could now be compared with an existing example

A rare original royal charter from the first year of King John’s reign has been discovered in Durham.

The document carries John’s seal, who reigned from 1199 to 1216, and was issued on March 26, 1200 in York — exactly 819 years ago.

It was found in the archives of Durham University’s Ushaw College Library.

Fewer than a dozen original charters have survived from the 1st year of King John’s reign.

Dr. Benjamin Pohl, a senior lecturer in Medieval History at Bristol University, came across the charter by chance while examining medieval manuscripts at Ushaw College.

He said the document was carefully prepared and written in what was known as a “court hand”, probably by a member of the king’s government department or chancery.

The charter was found in the library of Ushaw College

Dr. Pohl said: “Discovering the original charter is extremely exciting, not least because it allows us to develop a fuller picture of the people who were present at York on 26 March 1200 and eager to do business with the new king.

“Medieval charters are important not just because of the legal acts they contain, but also for what they can tell us about the society and political culture at the time.

“Our charter might best be described, therefore, as a kind of ‘who’s who’ of Northern England at the turn of the 13th Century.

“The document confirmed the granting of possessions in County Durham, namely the two hamlets of Cornsay and Hedley Hill, to Walter of Caen and Robert FitzRoger, Lord of Warkworth and Sherriff of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Walter and Robert were nephews of Simon, a chamberlain of Durham who had originally received the grants from his bishop, Hugh de Puiset, sometime before 1183, but who later decided to part with the bequests in order to provide for his two younger relatives.

Ushaw College Library is regularly used by visiting scholars
Ushaw College Library is regularly used by visiting scholars

Prof David Cowling, pro-vice-chancellor for arts and humanities at Durham University, said: “For one of our visiting fellows to identify an item from the collection as a previously uncatalogued medieval royal charter is a wonderful example of the benefits and advances that can be made by working and exploring our archives together.

“The bishop’s charter, recording the original grants to Simon, is also held at Durham, allowing the two original documents to be compared and studied side-by-side for the first time.

Source: chroniclelive