English Heritage archaeologists have revealed the findings of a large survey of over 20,000 old aerial photographs taken of the stretch of coast between Whitby and the Scottish border. Many of the sights date back to the first and second world wars, although some even reveal medieval activity. From The Yorkshire Post:
At Hartlepool, mounds of waste material from medieval salt production – evidence of one of Teesside’s earliest industries – were also uncovered during the survey.
The survey also revealed four wrecks on the mud flats at Amble, in Northumberland.
Although their existence had previously been recorded, the actual location of the wrecks was not known until the English Heritage survey took place. It is not known from when the wrecks date, but they are clearly visible in aerial photography dating back to the 1940s.
In addition, a pattern of shallow rectangular features around medieval St Cuthbert’s hermitage, on the Farne Islands, was identified during the survey. Although their exact origins are not known, it is thought that these unusual features may have more to do with the activities of the lighthouse crews than with the medieval use of the island.
There are a few pretty interesting photos from the survey online and a further article on TimesOnline. With any luck, this survey will open up many brand new areas to be archeologically investigated and so I hope we’ll see plenty of new finds reported from these sites soon.