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The Pilgrims’ School, Cathedral Close, Winchester, Hampshire - Post-Excavation Assessment and Research Design (Incorporating Second Phase Evaluation, Geoarchaeological Survey and Watching Brief 2006-07) The Pilgrims' School, Cathedral Close, Winchester Hampshire. Archaeological Evaluation Report - Scheduled Ancient Monument Hants 585

Champness, Carl and Teague, Steve The Pilgrims’ School, Cathedral Close, Winchester, Hampshire - Post-Excavation Assessment and Research Design (Incorporating Second Phase Evaluation, Geoarchaeological Survey and Watching Brief 2006-07) The Pilgrims' School, Cathedral Close, Winchester Hampshire. Archaeological Evaluation Report - Scheduled Ancient Monument Hants 585. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Between July - August 2005, Oxford Archaeology undertook an archaeological evaluation at The Pilgrims’ School, Winchester in order to provide information concerning the impact of the proposed development upon potential archaeological remains. Three trenches were excavated revealing that deeply stratified, dry and waterlogged, archaeological deposits survive below deep accumulations of postmedieval dumping and garden soils. The finds and environmental evidence retrieved from the waterlogged deposits showed excellent preservation. The water table was observed between 31.62 and 31.64m aOD. Trench 1 measured 8m x 2m and was located against the southern limit of the site. It showed that the latest significant archaeological levels fell away sharply towards the north from 32.80 m aOD to 31.66 m aOD. Two phases of Roman defences were revealed - a later defensive wall superseded an earlier earthen/turf rampart. A possible post-Roman intra-mural track was seen to run adjacent to the wall. A medieval cess/rubbish pit lined with oak boards (with exceptional preservation of organic remains) was also found. The existing Close wall was constructed upon the foundations of the demolished Roman defensive wall, during the 12th-13th century or later. Later medieval soils were dumped in the area. Extensive 18th century dumps of building rubble (containing medieval architectural fragments) overlay the medieval sequence, which were in turn sealed by successive garden soils. Trench 2 was 1.5 m square and situated within a restricted area towards the north of the site. Significant archaeological levels were not reached and lay below the base of excavations at 32.00 m aOD. The post-medieval building rubble dumps observed in Trench 1 were seen to extend into Trench 2 and contained, of note, a fragment of 14/15th century stone basin/font. Trench 3 measured 8.8 m x 2 m and was located near to the northern perimeter of the site. Significant archaeological levels were reached at 31.45 m aOD. Naturally deposited river gravels were encountered at 30.56 aOD and were overlain with thin organic silts and sands that contained pottery datable to AD 150-200. These deposits suggest a shallow water/flooded landscape, with indicators of slow-moving or even stagnant, nutrient-rich water. Of note in this phase of works was the absence of the ‘Fen Peat’ located some 40 m to the SW during previous work (COAS 1999) at a depth of 30.55m aOD and thought to form between c.6,500 BP and 2,000 BP. This would indicate that the prehistoric deposits and environmental regime in the valley floor is varied. Sealing these earlier silts was a layer comprised mainly of flint and chalk demolition[?] ‘rubble’ that contained fragments from a diverse range of tile forms and painted plaster, well-preserved constructional iron nails and fittings, parts of leather shoes, and several coins dating to the later 3rd century. This deposit represented deliberate dumping derived from a high status building, possibly in the vicinity and probably in an attempt to reclaim the low-lying land in the valley bottom. From the late Roman period a thick accumulation of organic silts developed, implying the area remained too damp for permanent habitation. Preserved within these deposits were a number of small timber posts, and clusters of stakes, perhaps part of a fish trap. The area remained susceptible to seasonal flooding possibly until the 17th century. There was an absence of the later rubble layers seen in Trenches 1 and 2, and successive garden soils were seen instead.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Primary Archives
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Hampshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:680
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:12 Sep 2011 11:21
Last Modified:25 Sep 2012 15:29

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