Viewing platform opportunity for dig at Berwick hospital

Families can watch on-going archaeology work – which is part of the redevelopment of the Berwick Infirmary site where a new £30million hospital is being built – at a specific area from next week.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 1:22 pm

People can access the viewing platform from a wooden gate at Low Greens. From next Wednesday (July 21), it will be available from Wednesday to Friday, 10am to 2pm, until Friday, August 27.

The excavation work began in April. Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is working with a team of 10 archaeologists.

The programme has been divided into different zones to link with the demolition works and 1,660 sq m of land is currently exposed. The total area in this phase is 9,200 sq m.

Northumbria Healthcare’s chairman Alan Richardson, left, with Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP and Northumbria Healthcare CEO, Sir James Mackey. Picture: Raoul Dixon/North News. Video courtesy of North News.

Various items such as bones and pottery have been found so far. The team is using hand excavation techniques and machinery where appropriate.

A trust spokeswoman said: “The team has found boundaries relating to an organised system of plots with signs of agricultural activity and evidence of domestic life, including fish processing from the Medieval period.

“There are also post holes in the wall foundations relating to buildings and a large cobbled area, part of which could have been a road.”

All items found at the site will be recorded and then sent to specialists for analysis.

It was adopted as a workhouse before becoming allotments and then the location for Berwick Infirmary.

Local MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan praised the programme when she was given a guided tour and the trust is pleased that the public can now view some of the work. People are asked to use the nearby public car park.