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Diglis Basin Diglis Dock Road and Land to the rear of Berwick Street Worcester

Pocock, Matt and Norton, Andrew and Champness, Carl Diglis Basin Diglis Dock Road and Land to the rear of Berwick Street Worcester. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Evaluation In June 2005, Oxford Archaeology (OA) carried out a field evaluation to the south of the centre of Worcester City, some 0.5 km from the Cathedral. The site is centred at SO 8500 5380 and is situated within an industrial compound on the Diglis Dock Road, south of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and east of the river Severn. The work was carried out in respect of a project specification prepared by CgMs Consulting on behalf of The Barton Wilmore Planning Partnership. There was no evidence of Roman or medieval archaeology within the trenches. Thick clay and silt layers at the bases of the trenches were undated, and the excavators suggest that in places they may be the result of dredging in the canal basin, but otherwise these layers represent alluvial deposits. Thereafter the truncated remains of Victorian/modern brick-built warehouse structures and floors associated with canal/riverside activities were identified to the west of the development site. Modern landfill deposits seal the site, which has recently been occupied by industrial units. In August 2005 Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by CgMs Consulting, on behalf of The Barton Wilmore Planning Partnership, to undertake a geoarchaeological assessment at the former site of Diglis Dock, Worcester. The primary objective of the assessment was the creation of a sub-surface deposit model in order to provide baseline data regarding the sediment sequences, palaeo-topography, and ultimately the archaeological potential of the site. Following an initial assessment of existing geotechnical data (OA 2005b), ten purposive boreholes were drilled at selected locations across the site. The boreholes were targeted on specific sub-surface features and sequences in order to ground truth the stratigraphic correlations made during the preliminary assessment and provide suitable samples for assessment of palaeoenvironmental indicators. The model demonstrates that significant thicknesses of late Pleistocene fluvial sands and Holocene alluvial silt clays are sealed beneath extensive deposits of made-ground. Significant local detail is present within the sediment stack associated with networks of probable late Pleistocene braided channel systems that cross the site. By the early Holocene most of these sub-surface features appear to have been silted up leaving a slightly undulating area of low-lying ground. For much of the Holocene it is likely the floodplain would have remained relatively dry, as evidenced in many other lowland river systems where flooding and alluviation appears to have been largely a later prehistoric phenomenon. The site is likely to have been seasonally inundated by flooding with alluvial accretion by historic times The floodplain environment could have been seasonally exploited for use as pasture, and early prehistoric activity could potentially be preserved buried at depth beneath thick alluvium deposits. The (geo)archaeological potential of the site, however, is considered to be low. No evidence for anthropogenic activity was noted within the purposive boreholes. Significant organic or peat deposits appear to be absent severely limiting the potential for radiocarbon dating and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Pollen assessment on a number of samples from the minerogenic clay silts demonstrated extremely poor preservation. Between October 2005 and August 2006 Oxford Archaeology (OA) carried out an archaeological investigation at Diglis Basin, Diglis Dock Road (NGR SO 8500 5380) and Diglis Basin Link Road, Diglis Lane, Worcester (NGR SO 85295 53473). The work was on behalf of Taylor Woodrow Developments Ltd in advance of the construction of 459 new dwellings and a link road. The investigation comprised a watching brief on remediation work within the Diglis Basin site, and a strip map and sample excavation on the site of a proposed link road. A possible 11th-century boundary ditch was revealed on the site of the link road, which may have defined the limits of two properties fronting Bath Road. The construction of a house and the disposal of general waste had disturbed much of the site. Alluvial deposits were seen during the watching brief, at a depth of c 2 m below ground. They were overlain by dumps of industrial and waste material. A large 19th-century trench, which may have housed a tank or machinery associated with the docks, was also revealed. No other archaeological evidence was seen.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Worcestershire
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
ID Code:661
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:09 Aug 2011 15:16
Last Modified:22 Dec 2011 14:54

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