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Stanwix Primary School, Stanwix, Carlisle, Cumbria- Evaluation

Clapperton, Kelly (2008) Stanwix Primary School, Stanwix, Carlisle, Cumbria- Evaluation. Project Report. OA North. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

On the 29th of January 2008, Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) carried out an archaeological evaluation, on behalf of Swarbrick Associates and Stanwix Primary School, to the rear of Stanwix Primary School, Stanwix, Carlisle, Cumbria (NGR NY 4015 5715). In advance of the construction of a toilet block and paved waiting area. The school stands within the former Roman fort of Stanwix, a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM 28484), and reputed to be one of the largest forts along Hadrian’s Wall. Several phases of archaeological work have taken place in and around the primary school since the mid-twentieth century. Excavations were carried out by Simpson and Hogg in the early 1930s and a series of excavations, evaluations and watching briefs were undertaken by Carlisle Archaeological Unit (CAU) during the 1980s and 1990s. These archaeological works culminated in the location of various features in the interior and exterior of the Roman fort, including stone curtain walls, barracks, and the granary, as well as metalled and cobbled surfaces. Fragments of Hadrian’s Wall, and the earlier Turf Wall, were also identified. Two trenches were excavated during the present scheme of works: Trench 1 was located within the rear yard of the school, just south of the entrance to Mulcaster Crescent, and situated over the proposed toilet block. Trench 1 measured 1.5m square, reduced in size to avoid the modern services and drains identified across the area, and was excavated to 0.7m in depth, until natural geology, 103, was encountered. The observed stratigraphy comprised tarmac and levelling deposits, 100, redeposited subsoil, 101, and disturbed natural, 102. No finds or features dating to the Roman period were identified, and it was likely that the area had been heavily truncated during the recent construction of the classroom immediately to the south. Two small fragments of clay pipe bowl were recovered from the levelling material 100, but were likely to have been residual within this recently redeposited material. A modern ceramic drain was identified running north-east/south-west across the trench; it was probably contemporary with the recent extension. It is likely that this part of the schoolyard has been heavily disturbed by recent groundworks, causing the truncation of archaeological deposits within the depth investigated. Thus, the proposed development is likely to have a negligible impact upon the archaeological resource, although potential for the preservation of islands of undisturbed archaeological stratigraphy elsewhere within the schoolyard must remain high. Trench 2 was located within the flowerbeds to the rear of the school, adjacent to Mulcaster Crescent and situated over the proposed location for the paved waiting area. It was 1.3m x 1.5m, and was excavated to a depth of 0.6m to accommodate the 0.4m proposed depth of impact in this area. The stratigraphy solely comprised garden soil 104 and natural geology was not reached; several fragments of modern pottery were observed, but not retained. It is possible, like levelling material 100, that the garden soil was brought in from elsewhere to raise the flowerbeds. If the proposed groundworks do not exceed the current pavement level they will have a minimal impact on this area.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cumbria
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:2350
Deposited By: Sandra Bonsall
Deposited On:16 Jan 2015 12:53
Last Modified:29 Nov 2018 11:44

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