Keys to the Past

Birtley pits (Birtley)

A strip of ironworkings, about 20m or 30m wide, lies around the west and north of Birtley following the limestone escarpment. The whole length is studded with pits about 5m in diameter and 1m deep, with mounds of upcast material. Towards the northern end of the workings, the pits become wider and deeper, at least 3m deep, which is probably because the ironstone strata dips. The workings are thought to be medieval or even Romano-British in date and ash and cinder heaps lie nearby. The ironstone is thought to have been used at the bloomery further west, but it has recently been suggested that the pitting may have been for quarrying limestone.

Reference number:N7765
Historical period: Medieval (1066 to 1540)
Event(s):FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1956; A S Phillips

See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Birtley

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