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St Mary’s Church, Penwortham, Lancashire: Archaeological Watching Brief and Excavation

Vannan, Alastair (2011) St Mary’s Church, Penwortham, Lancashire: Archaeological Watching Brief and Excavation. Project Report. Oxford Archaeology North. (Submitted)

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Abstract

As a result of proposals for intrusive groundworks in association with the installation of a new floor at St Mary’s church in Penwortham, Lancashire (NGR centred SD 52388 29000), a specification for an archaeological watching brief was issued by Lancashire County Archaeological Service (LCAS). Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) was subsequently commissioned by Rev. Chris Nelson to undertake the watching brief, during which numerous burials, disarticulated charnel deposits, and burial crypts were discovered. The ground conditions, combined with the complexity of the archaeological remains, revealed during the removal of floor deposits led to a change in engineering strategy. It was agreed between the client and LCAS that OA North would undertake the archaeological excavation of six 0.5m wide trenches, which were required to facilitate the installation of ground-beams to install a suspended floor in mitigation of the proposals. This would allow the majority of the remains of archaeological interest to be preserved in situ. The presence of a castle in Penwortham, which would have been situated on and around a motte that lies immediately adjacent to the current church site, was recorded in 1086, and a church was present within the area prior to 1140. The earliest fabric of the current building has been suggested to date to the fourteenth century. Therefore, the potential existed for the presence of remains of archaeological interest relating to medieval activity both pre-dating, and associated with, the earliest foundation of the church, as well as evidence relating to the later developmental history of the site.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Lancashire
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:1455
Deposited By: Mr Peter Schofield
Deposited On:12 Feb 2014 13:22
Last Modified:12 Feb 2014 13:22

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