The final days of a three-year community dig have uncovered firm evidence of a medieval hospital buried beneath a Tyneside park.
The volunteer-staffed archaeology project is part of a restoration project for Northumberland Park on the North Shields-Tynemouth border.
When the park was being laid out in the 1880s, there were reports of workmen finding medieval remains and there are documentary references to a St Leonard’s Hospital on the site from the 13th Century.
The first two seasons of the dig revealed around 40 burials, most of them medieval.
The latest excavations have uncovered another 40 and now – with the dig due to end on Sunday – the first significant evidence of the hospital itself.
This is a floor of glazed, coloured tiles probably dating from the 13th
“It is the remains of a significant, quite posh building which was probably the east chapel of the hospital,” said archaeologist Richard Carlton from The Archaeological Practice, who is leading the dig.
Photo: The Journal