Friday, August 03, 2007

Tracking Saltburn's Industrial Heritage

Maritime archaeologists and volunteers want to uncover more of Teesside's history during the next phase of survey work below Saltburn Cliffs. The surveyors will spend a week recording rutways - ruts cut into the bedrock - believed to be associated with the alum and ironstone industries between the 17th and 19th Centuries.
It is believed the rutways were cut to take the wheels of the Yorkshire carts, which were used to load and unload the ships and boats servicing the industry. The archaeologists and volunteers from Tees Archaeology, the Nautical Archaeology Society North-East and the Teesside Archaeological Society have already recorded a complex network of rutways, including sets of points, where tracks met or crossed.
Rachel Grahame, Tees Archaeology's project officer, said: "More than 100 years of constant coastal erosion has erased many of the rutways. It is important that we record what is left of a fast-disappearing aspect of Saltburn's industrial heritage."
Gary Green, regional co-ordinator of the Nautical Archaeology Society North-East, said: "We have had some excellent results, uncovering an impressive network of rutways stretching round to Skinningrove."