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Archaeological Evaluation at Wallingford Police Station Reading Road Wallingford Oxfordshire

Bashford, Robin Archaeological Evaluation at Wallingford Police Station Reading Road Wallingford Oxfordshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

olice Station, Reading Road, Wallingford, Oxfordshire (NGR SU 6071 8901). The work was commissioned by RPS Planning and Development. The evaluation revealed a deep sequence of soils deposited over the natural late Devensian/early Holocene soil which overlies the gravel. A single residual flint of Mesolithic or early Neolithic date was the only prehistoric find. Two fragments of Roman tile were also found, but these two were probably redeposited. Late Saxon or Saxo-Norman features were found all across the site, and consisted of pits and ditches of various sizes, plus at least one posthole. The finds and ecofacts from these were well-preserved, and demonstrate domestic occupation. One madder-stained potsherd indicates that dyeing was being carried out on or close to the site. No trace of the church of St Lucian or of any associated graveyard was found, and it is probable that these do not lie within the site. A small quantity of pottery of later 12th-13th century date was also found, but features were confined to Trench 9 close to the frontage. Later medieval and early post-medieval material was absent. The difficulty of determining the relationship between the buried topsoil and the late Saxon and medieval features is probably the result of cultivation of this soil in the later medieval period, and it is possible that the site was used as a garden within St John's Hospital. The site probably remained in cultivation after the dissolution of the Hospital, as no activity of the later 16th or early 17th century was found. A number of pits of the late 17th or early 18th century were scattered across the site. These were probably associated with the Almshouses erected on the adjacent site in AD1681. Finds include the best examples yet known of the stamps of an Abingdon clay pipe maker. The current ground level of the Police Station site is considerably higher than that of the more recent flats to the north and east, and in all trenches except that at the front, the depth of soil over the late Devensian/early Holocene soil was more than 1m, which may suggest that the ground level has been raised by the importation of topsoil. Nearly 0.5m of topsoil was deposited over the early 18th century features, and finds indicate that this occurred in the latter half of the 19th century. The foundations of the south-west corner of the Cottage Hospital built on the site in AD1881 were found close to the current frontage, and were in line with those of the earlier almshouses to the north. As the imported soil was cut by these foundations, it seems most likely that it was brought in immediately prior to the construction of the Cottage Hospital. Other features associated with the Cottage Hospital include a brick-built dometopped well and a group of rubbish pits. A number of dogs had been buried in the garden of the hospital.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:1403
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:10 Feb 2014 11:47
Last Modified:10 Feb 2014 11:47

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