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Corpus Christi College Oxford New Library

Bashford, Robin Corpus Christi College Oxford New Library. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In April 2015, Oxford Archaeology (OA) carried out a field evaluation at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (SP 515 060). The evaluation revealed the top of the second terrace gravels, which did not appear to have been truncated and were overlain by a possible buried soil horizon which may have represented a variation in the composition of the post-glacial brickearth deposit which overlies the second terrace. The possible buried soil was overlain by a series of clay silt deposits, some of which contained waterlogged material, which may have represented trample and/or domestic refuse possibly associated with an unmetalled right of way pre-dating the late Saxon Shidyerd Street, the projected line of which runs through the site. These deposits were overlain by a layer of limestone rubble which may have represented the first in a series of rudimentary surfaces interspersed with thick accumulations of silty material which produced a considerable quantity of animal bone, presumably deposited by the occupiers of structures fronting on to the street. The majority of datable artefacts recovered from these layers appear to suggest that they were deposited between the 11th and 12th centuries, with the predominance of St Neot's ware probably suggesting a pre-conquest date for the majority of the sequence. The latest of the rudimentary surfaces appear to date from the 12th–14th century. The uppermost of the sequence of surfaces was well-metalled and was predominantly constructed from large limestone cobbles. The dating evidence suggested that this may have been laid as early as the 14th century, and is perhaps contemporary with the acquisition of the lower end of Shidyerd Street by Merton College in 1321, with the materials used to construct it possibly originating from buildings which are documented as having been demolished by the College in 1317. The deposits overlying this surface were of uncertain origin, although they are likely to be 16th-century in date and may relate to the early use of the site following the foundation of Corpus Christi in 1517. The paucity of evidence for any activity between the 14th and 16th centuries may reflect the economic decline in Oxford throughout the 15th century. The lack of any later surfaces associated with the construction of the President's Lodging in 1607 suggests a degree of truncation prior to the construction of the existing car park, as it seems highly likely that the access to the newly built lodging would have been through the site. A number of possible postholes which truncated the ?14th-century surface, and possibly the series of deposits overlying it, may have been associated with the construction of the Canterbury Gate and eastern range of the Canterbury Quad of Christ Church College in 1778. These deposits were directly overlain by the modern bedding deposit for the existing tarmac surface.

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:3506
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:08 Mar 2018 12:04
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 12:04

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