Fort work uncovers ancient buildings

Restoration work at Clifford's Fort on North Shields Fish Quay.

Restoration work at Clifford's Fort on North Shields Fish Quay.

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Secrets of an ancient monument in North Shields have been unveiled during a restoration project on site.

The final phase of work on Clifford’s Fort has revealed the foundations of a military engineer’s house and part of a mine firing device.

The fort – a Dutch Wars fort built in 1672 – is being improved in a £1m North Shields Fish Quay Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) scheme.

As part of the scheme, the walls of Clifford’s Fort were restored last autumn and now the area is benefitting from a £250,000 public realm improvement scheme.

Part of the foundations of the 18th century Master Gunner’s House – believed to have been built between 1757 and 1772 – were exposed below the concrete floor of the fish processing unit, which was demolished in 1973.

The surviving remains have been preserved below the public realm space.

Further north on the site, part of the stone edging of Cable Tanks belonging to the Submarine Mining Depot established at the fort in 1888 were uncovered. The tanks used to store the cables used to electrically fire mines, and had been forgotten after the building which contained them was demolished in 1928.

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