Hundreds join dig at site of former Trinity Towers building in South Shields park

Kevin Grieve and Chris Gibson excavate the site of the  Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

Kevin Grieve and Chris Gibson excavate the site of the Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

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Residents have been digging into the past as part of an unique archaeological event in South Tyneside.

People were invited to take part in a dig in North Marine Park, South Shields, aiming to discover the foundations of the Victorian Trinity Towers.

Chris Gibson excavates the site of the  Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

Chris Gibson excavates the site of the Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

The project, which began yesterday and continues today, asked people to join archaeologists from Arbeia Roman Fort and Friends of North and South Marine Parks in the dig at the site on the Lawe Top.

Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery, hundreds who turned out on the first day were provided with equipment to unearth their very own piece of history.

Nick Hodgson, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums archaeologist at Arbeia Roman Fort, said he was delighted with the success of the event so far.

He said: “It going really well and a lot of people have been interested.
“We seem to have hit the foundations of the Trinity Towers, which was an old building dating back to 1810.
“The building was used as a pilot lookout, with a view over the river mouth.

Chris Gibson excavates the site of the  Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

Chris Gibson excavates the site of the Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

“It was built in a quaint Gothic style, and was quite a well known South Shields landmark before it was demolished in 1969.

“We have also had people of a certain age come along who can remember it.”

Although the findings will not be permanently displayed, lots of information and photographs are available to view on the site.

Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader with responsibility for leisure and culture, added: “This is a wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy a great day out in the park while helping to explore its history.

Kevin Grieve excavates the site of the  Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

Kevin Grieve excavates the site of the Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

“I would encourage residents to just come along, take part as you never know what you might discover.”

The event will also feature an area where young children can take part in a dig of their own to make a find and collect a prize from Arbeia Roman Fort.

•The dig was due to continue from 10am to 4pm today.

Kevin Grieve and Chris Gibson excavate the site of the  Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

Kevin Grieve and Chris Gibson excavate the site of the Victorian Trinity Towers on the Lawe Top, North Marine Park, in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS