At Bolton Castle, Wensleydale, we have been recording the roof of the surviving inhabited mediaeval wing, in advance of renovations. Among other things, we have recorded hundreds of graffiti cut into the leads and dating from the 18th century.
For some years we have been involved with the archaeology of Marrick Priory, a mediaeval house of Benedictine nuns now used as a field studies centre. Much of the original fabric survives, including the former house of the Prioress, which we have recorded. Recent discoveries have included a number of burials which are probably those of the original community at Marrick.
We have carried out several excavations in the market town of Norton, a mediaeval settlement which is also associated with an early Anglo-Saxon cemetery. 18th and 19th century structures have cut through much of the town centre.
A survey of the ancient parish church of Dent, in connection with a major programme of restoration, has involved recording all of the fixtures inside the church, including a lovely collection of 17th and 18th century pews.
Work at the ancient church of St Columba, Warcop, led to the discovery of a fine black marble grave slab of the 15th century, broken in pieces and re-used in the vestry floor.
In Hartlepool we have recently carried out detailed surveys of several grand Victorian mansions, built by the wealthy owners of shipping and timber interests in the town. These great houses are being restored to a variety of uses.
We have recently carried out a survey of a large aristocratic house, with acres of parkland and formal gardens, near Bishop Auckland. The house is currently unoccupied and awaiting a new lease of life.
Small-scale excavations within the upper levels of the castle moat here in Barnard Castle have revealed deposits dating from the final abandonment of the Castle shortly after the Civil War. As well as pottery, glass and other finds the site produced quantities of animal bones and other food remains. Favourite meals in the 17th century seem to have included sheep’s head and oysters.