Source/Archive record SYO2109 - 20 Bishophill WB

Title 20 Bishophill WB
Date/Year 2017


Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by CgMs Consulting on behalf of McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyle Ltd to undertake an archaeological watching brief at 20 Bishophill Junior. The watching brief followed on from evaluation trenching, watching brief and geotechnical investigations on the site which identified medieval and possible Romano-British structures and buried deposits. As a result of the remains identified during the previous phases of work, a revised foundation design was agreed with John Oxley, City Archaeologist for York. This established a protective buffer of at least 250 mm between the identified Romano-British archaeology and the base of significant construction impacts. It was agreed with the developer that significant construction impacts would be kept above 16.66 m above Ordnance Datum (aOD). Wessex Archaeology maintained a watching brief on the demolition of the extant structural remains on site which would otherwise impeded construction (comprising upstanding walls, foundations and basement walls), as well as groundworks for foundations, utility services and piling. The watching brief recorded a series of cellars and drains associated with Oliver House and 19thcentury structures identified on the 1852 and 1892 OS maps of the site. A brick sample taken from a well associated with one of these nineteenth century cellars may have origins dating from the fifteen to sixteenth century. The cellars were removed where necessary with the agreement of the City Archaeologist as they could not be piled through. The base of these cellars extended well beyond 16.66 m aoD and were built into the natural clay sub strata. Construction of the cellars had truncated any earlier archaeological deposits. Areas of site not previsouly truncated by postmedieval structures were not excavated below the agreed depth of 16.66 m aOD. No in situ Romano-British/medieval deposits or features were identified during the demolition and associated groundworks. However, low levels of residual material were recovered from redeposited material within the site. The most significant finds were a probable Romano-British altar identified amongst the demolition fill of a nineteenth century cellar. The altar shows signs of extensive weathering and may have been re-used as a Victorian garden feature. The watching brief also identified a disarticulated human skull during the removal of a manhole. The skull was recovered from the fill of the construction cut for the manhole, but its age is uncertain.

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Record last edited

Dec 18 2018 10:00AM


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