Theatre's Historic Revivals!

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jane Picken

Historic treasures have been unearthed during a multi-million pound expansion at a Tyneside theatre.

During work on Newcastle's Live Theatre developers have uncovered artefacts dating back to the 15th Century.

The finds are helping piece together the city's history.

The Theatre, on the city's Quayside, is undergoing a pounds 4.34m expansion but an archaeological survey, commissioned by project managers, Faithful and Gould, has revealed a series of post-Medieval stone walls, flooring remains and fragments of Medieval pottery.

Archaeologists had previously carried out a survey of the Broad Chare area around the theatre in 2002 during construction of the recently completed pounds 55m Trinity Gardens office and housing complex.

Findings from this previous dig included cemented walls, stone capped drains and items of pottery.

Jonathan McKelvey, keeper of field archaeology for Tyne Wear Museums, explained: "We know Newcastle was a large and prosperous commercial town in the 15th(17th Century.

"Earlier excavations indicate that this area of the Quayside was densely packed with buildings, many of which were of commercial or industrial usage and separated by narrow alleys or chares running at right angles from the river.

"The Live Theatre findings are consistent with this and represent another piece of the jigsaw, contributing to our ever-increasing knowledge of Newcastle's history. …