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Westgate Car Park Oxford

Bashford, Robin Westgate Car Park Oxford. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Between July and September 2006, Oxford Archaeology (OA) carried out a field evaluation at the Westgate Centre, Oxford (centered on SP 5108 0594). The work was carried out on behalf of John Samuel’s Archaeological Consultants (JSAC now CgMs inc. JSAC) who were commissioned by Nathanial Lichfield on behalf of The Westgate Partnership. The Westgate Partnership is a joint venture between Capital Shopping Centres plc and Coal Pension Properties Ltd and is proposing the redevelopment of the existing Westgate Centre and associated car parks (both multi-storey and surface level). The current phase of evaluation comprised 4 trenches within the multi-storey car park, 7 in the surface car parks and a further 5 in areas adjacent to the car parks which will be affected by the proposed development. The Westgate car park lies at the interface between the second gravel terrace and the Thames flood plain. The Trenches to the south of the site revealed an organic deposit overlying the undulating top of the first gravel terrace, and overlain by a series of alluvial clays. These deposits have been encountered during previous archaeological work on the flood plain. The organic deposit is thought to have formed from the remnants of a reed swamp which has been buried beneath numerous phases of later alluviation. The alluvial deposits appeared to be cut by a number of channels, with some containing evidence for timber revetment. They were predominantly medieval or post medieval in origin and fairly consistent with cartographic evidence. A limited amount of evidence was also recovered for discrete feature(s) cutting the alluvial deposits, which also appeared to be medieval in origin and have been tentatively interpreted as clay quarrying. Two parallel timbers identified in a previous evaluation (JSAC, 2001) and interpreted as a timber lined channel were re-excavated. These appeared to be overlain by a potential N-S aligned stone ‘surface’ which may represent a post-medieval ford across the Trill Mill Stream at the base of the second terrace. It is now suggested that the timbers may have been associated with the stone surface, although the original interpretation cannot be discounted. Evidence for possible 11th-12th century land reclamation extending southwards from the second terrace was also recovered, and it is possible that this was specifically undertaken to create a building platform for the construction of the Franciscan friary of Greyfriars in the 13th century. Robbed or partially robbed walls which presumably relate to the friary complex were identified in a number of the trenches within the multi-storey car park, and one trench contained a series of what appeared to be midden deposits, possibly representing the disposal of rubbish away from the site of occupation or domestic activity. The northernmost trench displayed some evidence for post-dissolution occupation within the friary church. No evidence for the tomb of St Agnellus, founder of the order in England, was revealed although a potential grave cut was identified beneath the later occupation deposits. The remaining recorded deposits appeared to relate to the use of the area as gardens/pasture, and subsequently the construction of Victorian terraced housing and the demolition of same in the late 1960s.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
ID Code:4580
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:08 Jan 2019 12:14
Last Modified:08 Jan 2019 12:14

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