Tyne and Wear HER(868): Whitburn Lizards, animal bones - Details
Whitburn Lizards, animal bones
In the latter part of the 19th century, during the quarrying of limestone on the east escarpment of the Cleadon Hills, near Whitburn Lizards, old sea-caves were uncovered. Five feet apart, the two caves were reported to be 140 feet above sea level, 15 feet from the top of the cliff, and to run west into the hill. The precise location of the caves is unknown. As well as human bones (HER no. 867), both caves contained animal bones and shells. Mammals represented were: horse, cow, sheep, dog, pig/wild boar, red-deer, roe, badger, fox, yellow-breasted marten, weasel, hedgehog, mole and water-vole. Birds represented were: kestrel/merlin, gannet, great auk, razorbill, etc. The author of the original report did not think the contents of the cave were old because no tools, or bones of hyena and cave-bear had been found. However, they have been included in Miket's prehistoric gazetteer. By the end of the century the site had been quarried away. The present location of the bones is unknown, but it is suggested that they could be at the Hancock Museum.
<< HER 868 >> Transactions Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1880, ...Old Sea-caves and a Raised Sea-beach at Whitburn Lizards, Vol. VII, 361-4 G.B. Hodgson, 1903, The Borough of South Shields, p. 2 W.C. Mitchell, 1919, History of Sunderland, 04-May E.L. Thornborrow, 1960, The Village of Cleadon in the Middle Ages, South Shields Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. I no. 8, p. 23 R. Miket, 1984, The Prehistory of Tyne and Wear, p. 94 no. 4