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The Fleury Building, Winchester Cathedral

Bashford, Robin and Champness, Carl and Teague, Steve (2011) The Fleury Building, Winchester Cathedral. Project Report. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In January 2010, Oxford Archaeology (OA) undertook archaeological recording at the site of the proposed Fleury Building at Winchester Cathedral, immediately to the east of the north transept. This was followed by a watching brief during the installation of new drainage between May-July 2010. The archaeological work followed on from an earlier evaluation carried out by OA in December 2008. The evaluation partially revealed at least nine supine inhumations, represented by simple earth-cut graves, a number of which were lined with chalk block cists. The site was excavated to the foundation levels of the new building with minimal or no impact on the archaeological remains. Additionally, a trench to incorporate a foul water pumping station was excavated immediately adjacent to the east wall of the north transept. This entailed the re-excavation of an early 20th century underpinning trench that exposed the offset brick footing of the same date which enabled archaeological remains exposed by the cut of the original trench to be recorded to a depth of c 3.1 m below the present ground level (b.g.l). The trench for the pumping station revealed a series of deposits which appeared to represent late Roman and early medieval alluviation. These were found to overlie a possible tufa deposit, possibly part of a floodplain island that is believed to partially underlie the cathedral. A post-Roman gravel surface was identified, possibly corresponding to similar surfaces found that potentially pre-dated the Old Minster to the west. This sequence was overlain by make-up layers and graveyard soils, within which at least two graves were discernible, both of which had a chalk block lining. The chalk lined cists were similar to those excavated on the site of the 13th century St Swithun's chapel in the 1960s, which were thought to be contemporary with the chapel. Three of the burials revealed within the evaluation were re-excavated in order for samples of bone to be taken for C14 dating. The femurs of the three individuals, one from within a chalk lined cist, but the remaining two from earth cut graves were sampled. Whilst the burial within the cist and one of the skeletons from the earth cut graves were dated to the 13th-14th centuries, the third sample appeared to date to the 11th-12th century. This would suggest that the area was in use as a burial ground prior to the construction of St Swithun's chapel. Further evidence for features and structures associated with the underpinning of the cathedral in the early 20th century was also revealed, including evidence for concrete blocks that may have served as thrust blocks to support raking timbers that would have been propped against the buttresses. The concrete skirt between the buttresses of the east arm of the cathedral was also broken out and revealed the Romanesque plinth. This appeared to have been re-used for the construction of the existing presbytery aisle walls during the early 16th century. In places, the footings of the buttresses of the presbytery aisle

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Hampshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
ID Code:610
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 11:23
Last Modified:10 Jan 2012 18:21

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