Tees Valley has........industrial heritage....historic sites and buildings

 Low Worsall

Low Worsall

Community Archaeology

he River Tees Rediscovered Landscape contains archaeological sites of all periods, many of which are clearly visible.

The earliest of these are Bronze Age Round Barrows at Cliffe near Piercebridge which date from about 1800 BC. These overlook the site of the Roman fort, bridges and settlement at Piercebridge. As part of the project geophysical survey and excavation took place to the west of the fort in 2017.

Other Roman sites in the area include a marching camp near Aislaby and as part of the project, a team of volunteers supported by Tees Archaeology carried out trial excavations in August and September 2015.

The Anglo-Saxons are not easy to find, however Viking period (10th and 11th century AD) sculptures can be seen in many of the churches and in the churchyard at Low Dinsdale.

After the Norman Conquest, medieval bridges were constructed at Croft, Yarm and Piercebridge and the medieval villages and churches of the area were built. Projects are looking at the medieval villages at Egglescliffe, Dalton-on-Tees and Low Worsall. Medieval industry is represented by the huge mounds that remain from making salt at Seaton Carew, Greatham Creek and Coatham Marsh.

The River Tees acted as a military frontier during the English Civil War. Royalist supplies were landed in Newcastle and sent south into Yorkshire in great convoys with military escorts. Attempts were made to stop these convoys at the crossing points of the Tees and fighting happened at Yarm and Piercebridge and further inland at Guisborough.

Yarm Bridge was the site of a skirmish on February 1st 1643. A guide to English Civil War sites in the area is being produced as part of the project.

The late 17th and early 18th century was characterised by wholesale replacement of buildings in brick although stone remained the material of choice in the western part of the area. This rebuilding accompanied an agricultural revolution which enclosed the medieval open fields leading to the patchwork of small fields which used to be typical of the landscape. As part of the project volunteers have recorded the buildings of Egglescliffe.

The demand for coal and the arrival of the railways had a major impact on the area and this is clearly visible in the great viaduct that cuts through Yarm.

Remains of the Iron and Steel industry which led to the creation of Middlesbrough are still visible at places like the coke ovens at South Bank near Middlesbrough.

The Second World War also left its mark on the area with pillboxes guarding our airfields and against invasion.


 Beam Engine

Beam Engine

Tees Cottage Pumping Station

From 1849 the Tees Cottage Pumping Station revolutionised water supply in Darlington and Teesside by offering cleaner, piped water to inhabitants who had previously relied on wells and rainwater tubs. Engines pumped water from the River Tees, which was then filtered and supplied to the water company's customers. It is the only remaining example of the three types of power used for water extraction; steam, gas and electric. The project aims to:

  • Increase the capacity of the current volunteers who operate the facility on a full time basis
  • Extend the education on offer through a formal schools engagement programme
  • Explore the potential to deliver training schemes and traditional skills training
  • Increase the number of steaming days
  • Increase on site interpretation



Community Activi-Tees

Fun, free and informative events and activities throughout the Tees Valley and Darlington focusing on our fantastic natural, built, and social heritage.

Community ActiviTees offers events and activities around the following themes:

  • education
  • museums
  • oral histories
  • food Heritage
  • community engagement

For more information contact Christine Corbett on 01642 616 144 or email christine.corbett@groundwork.org.uk


River Tees Rediscovered has worked with Robin Daniels from Tees Archaeology, Cath Watkins from Stockton Council’s library service and Sophie Lunt from Preston Hall Museum to create a schools loan box which brings to life the prehistory of the Tees Valley and specifically the local sites that have been discovered around Ingleby Barwick. The boxes contain information about the prehistoric communities that made their home along the Tees together with a number of prehistoric themed fact and story books supplied by Stockton Council and replica artefacts that bring this fascinating period of history to life for children. The artefacts include arrowheads, beakers, animal skins, shell beads and Whitby Jet, all materials and items used extensively by the earliest communities in the area. So far, 2 local schools have used the boxes and one teacher said, “The resources have been great, especially the things we have been able to handle, pots, stones, flint, arrowheads etc.” Another teacher commented that the local history connection was a great idea.

The box is available to borrow from Ingleby Barwick Library; please contact Branch Manager Cath Watkins on 01642 528610 or email cath.watkins@stockton.gov.uk for more information.


 Preston Park Museum & Grounds

Preston Park Museum & Grounds

Spirit of PLace

Spirit of Place celebrates the heritage of traditional crafts and skills inspired by, or created within, the unique landscape of the Tees Valley, such as pottery, dry-stone walling and many more. It will involve activities to increase participation in these crafts and skills.

Each group of transferrable skills develops a practical application through an element of specific landscape character around Preston Park Museum and Grounds, with delivery through a wide and varied range of training opportunities, community experiences, outreach activities and workshop demonstrations.

Traditional crafts and skills have been part of the history of Preston Park Museum and Grounds for many years, from the creations developed within the resident blacksmiths forge to the ongoing restoration of historical features and the continued delivery of a number of heritage themed craft demonstrations and workshops around the museum.