Dig aiming to help uncover old hospital

BUDDING archaeologists are invited to find out more about the medieval ruins within a borough park and get involved in their excavation.

Archaeologist Dave Heslop will be giving a talk on the medieval hospital of St Leonard’s, the remains of which are in North Shields’ Northumberland Park.

At the free event – on Thursday, March 17, at 6pm in the Linskill Centre, North Shields – people will get the chance to help rediscover the former site.

Michael Coates, chairman of the New Friends of Northumberland Park, said: “For more than 50 years I’ve been visiting Northumberland Park and wondering about the significance of the stone coffins and what else might lie beneath the ground.

“I am delighted to be part of this exciting project to reveal the secrets of St Leonard’s Hospital.”

The talk will tell people what a medieval hospital was, what sort of buildings are expected to be found and what functions they performed.

Those attending will be able to volunteer in a variety of ways including digging, research, interpretation, recording finds and consolidating of remains.

Following the archaeological works, North Tyneside Council will be working with volunteers and the New Friends of Northumberland Park to look for ideas to interpret the history of St Leonard’s for today’s park visitors.

This could include the planting of a medieval herb garden, producing information boards, visitor guides or historic drama events in the park.