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Pendower Hall, a stunning 18th Century Grade II listed building in Benwell, Newcastle, has welcomed over 150 children onsite in a bid to help children learn about the local archeology and hear about onsite safety.

The primary school children from years 4, 5 and 7, visited from St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Wingrove Primary School and Canning Street Primary in Benwell.

David Redhead, project director from Pendower Hall Ltd, said:

“Work is progressing well onsite and we were keen to share what we are doing and what we have found. We also want to instil safety into children in the area, so they understand the dangers of building sites.”

The children’s visit included a sneak peak at what Pendower Hall will look like once renovations are complete.

More importantly, a health and safety talk from David Charlton of New Forrest Developments, the main contractor on site, was given. He talked about the dangers of building sites and how to stay safe. He reinforced the message they are not a place for children to be unsupervised.

Tony Liddell, from Vindomora Solutions Ltd, is leading the archaeological dig onsite and he unveiled to the children what has been found so far and what it reveals about the surrounding area. He said:

“The children were very excited to learn the history of the local area and loved being able to see and touch part of history gone by.

“This excavation has unveiled some interesting facts about urban life here in Roman times. It has produced a number of pottery fragments, most from the mid-2nd century, which would have been cooking vessels, Roman fineware, imported pottery from the continent and even the remains of a cheese making dish. There is also strong evidence of use of stone flagging, wooden posts, kilns, blue glass window panes and tiles.

“This gives us the overall picture of sturdy stone buildings with tiled roofs and blue glass windows, with a cobbled road in between. To add to the story further, it is believed the inhabitants had a certain wealth due to finds including a fragment of a child’s bone comb, wine jugs and bronze and iron items including gaming tokens and coins.”

The excavation has been ongoing for around four months now. It is anticipated it should last another three weeks, when the full sequence of the Roman occupation can be fully understood.

Work ongoing on the Hall currently includes reparatory works internally and externally. A new Grand hall will also be added, turning the building into much needed office space and a wedding, conference and banqueting facility large enough to host events up to 450 people.

The children from all three schools have now been set a task to design a poster encouraging people to stay off site, preserve our heritage and stay safe. Judging will take place later in October.

More information is available on Pendower Hall’s Facebook page.

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