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Wed, 19 Apr 2017, 09:30 – Fri, 21 Apr 2017, 17:00 BST
Excursion 1 - Safeguarding the Sublime: managing archaeology in protected landscapes in the 21st century
When: Thursday 20th April, 13:45-17:00 (returning by 17.30)
Following on from the morning Safeguarding the Sublime session we will be visiting a number of sites on Hadrian’s Wall within the Northumberland National Park, where National Park and World Heritage Site meet. Hadrian’s Wall was the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire for nearly 300 years and is a cultural icon of the United Kingdom. It was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1987 and became part of the Frontiers of Roman Empire World Heritage Site, alongside the German Limes (in 2005) and the Antonine Wall (in 2008). With c.400 square miles of picturesque and dramatic landscape, from Hadrian’s Wall in the south to the Cheviots and the Scottish Borders in the north, Northumberland National Park is a rich historic environment, blessed with Roman ruins, the remains of Iron Age hillforts, bastles to keep out Border Reivers, and, of course, the iconic Hadrian’s Wall. The National Park Authority, staff, volunteers and partners work hard to look after these treasures, protecting our heritage for the enjoyment and understanding of people now and in the future. The excursion is a chance to see, and to debate, the theory from the morning session in practice within a protected landscape, from the more traditional approaches of heritage management to the new approaches and technologies being development to safeguard the historic environment.
We will visit The Sill for a preview of this £14.2 million National Landscape Discovery Centre opening in summer 2017. This bold, ambitious project of international importance aims to engage, inspire and transform how people think about landscape, nature and cultural heritage. The ambition is for The Sill to be a gateway for learning and research, education, conservation, countryside management, leisure, and tourism. There will be tour of the site, and we will learn all about The Sill’s ambitious activity programme to make these aspirations a reality.
We will also visit Hadrian’s Wall at Steel Rigg and Peel Crags, one of the most iconic and accessible sections of Hadrian’s Wall within the National Trust Hadrian’s Wall Estate and mid-point along Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail. This will involve a walking tour discussing the challenges and opportunities prevalent with a landscape of such high international significance. We will also discuss how technologies can be applied to enhance the visitor experience of these places and where this might lead us.
Excursion 2 - Early Medieval Churches in the Tyne Valley
When: Friday 21 April, leaving 9.15 - 13.00 (returning at 13.30 for lunch)
The Tyne Valley has a number of churches originating the early medieval period, many with surviving Anglo-Saxon fabric. The churches are part of the legacy of the rich intellectual and artistic centres which flourished in the kingdom of Northumbria in the 7th and 8th centuries, particularly at Lindisfarne and the twin monasteries of Jarrow and Wearmouth. One of the ways in which the church manifested its wealth was in the construction of stone churches, thus requiring a significant investment.
The excursion will visit three of those churches, at Hexham and Bywell. Hexham Abbey is one of the earliest, founded by Bishop Wilfrid in the 670s. Although most of the standing structure has been rebuilt, an apse perhaps from the early medieval church was uncovered during excavations in the 20th century. The Abbey also has the original crypt from Wilfrid’s church. Bywell has two churches dating to the early medieval period, St Peter’s and St Andrew’s. St Peter’s was mainly rebuilt in the 13th and 14th centuries, but has its origins in the 7th or 8th century, and there is surviving Anglo-Saxon stonework in the nave and chancel. St Andrew’s also has early medieval origins, with surviving Anglo-Saxon fabric in the nave and a complete tower of the 11th century.