Thorpe Park Archaeology

With work now begun in earnest in Thorpe Park Leeds, archaeological remains have been exposed for two different periods of activity : the edge of a possible settlement of late Iron Age to early Roman date, and extensive post-medieval coal mining.

Excavation around one shaft revealed a substantial stone structure, probably supporting the pit head gear or a steam-powered winding engine. The remains of a waggonway ran westwards from this structure, marked by shale and coal waste encompassing scraps of L-shaped plate rails and ‘Stephenson’s Patent Rail Chairs’, and preserving impressions of the sleepers.

A 5m diameter brick-lined pit, which might have been a quenching pit for some smithing activity, was also discovered.