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Phase 1 Area: Somerville College, Walton Street, Oxford

Bashford, Robin Phase 1 Area: Somerville College, Walton Street, Oxford. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by Bidwell LLP on behalf of Somerville College to undertake a trial trench evaluation at the site of the proposed Catherine Hughes Building, Somerville College, Walton Street, Oxford (SP 5093 0689). The evaluation revealed the top of the second terrace gravel which in one trench was overlain by a layer of post‐glacial brickearth. A number of features were revealed which had fills that were predominantly composed of redeposited brickearth and gravel, which elsewhere in the city has been indicative of prehistoric or late Saxon features. However, a single sherd of 12th‐ 14th century pottery was recovered from a soil sample taken from the fills of one of these features, which may indicate a later date for some fills of this nature where they are encountered on the periphery of the core of the medieval city. With the exception of these features, little evidence for medieval occupation was revealed within the trenches, which probably reflects the fact that the area now occupied by Somerville College almost certainly lay within open fields in the medieval period. A north‐south aligned linear feature was revealed within a trench in the southwestern corner of the site. The fills of this feature produced artefactual material dating to the late‐17th‐early‐18th centuries, and it almost certainly correlates to part of the Civil War defensive network around the city, as illustrated by Bernard de Gomme in 1644. The dating evidence is also consistent with the fact that this section of the earthwork is shown as extant on David Loggan’s later plan of 1675. A series of deeply stratified deposits of a similar date was also revealed in a trench to the north‐east of this feature. Although the extent of these deposits was not revealed within the confines of the trench, it seems likely that they represent the backfill of the eastward return of the north‐south aligned feature described above. A number of walls were revealed which broadly correlate with structures shown on the OS 1st edition map of 1876. Additionally, the majority of the trenches contained a series of large 19th‐century pits which almost certainly represent occupation associated with these properties. A stone‐lined well of similar date was also revealed.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Primary Archives
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Modern 1901 - present
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:4555
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:20 Dec 2018 17:19
Last Modified:20 Dec 2018 17:19

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