Work has continued at a number of the large development sites around the city centre – the university campus, new library, Royal Worcester, and Sainsbury’s in St Johns.
At the library site, of particular interest has been a deep evaluation trench on the Cattlemarket car park (part of the library development), where for the first time it has been possible to examine part of the Severn floodplain. The sequence here was unexpectedly complex, with evidence of both Roman and medieval industry (including possible bell casting), and ditches and channels of Roman and later date. Among later features were a ditch with 17th century fills, 19th century wooden water pipes, and the brick foundations of the Cattlemarket counting house.
Work on the redevelopment of the Worcestershire County Cricket ground has commenced, with the (temporary) demolition of the historic pavilion, following full recording. Shorn of later additions from various stages in the 20th century, the pavilion, which was built in 1896-98, is to be re-erected close to its original site.
Preparation for the redevelopment of the Lowesmoor Trading Estate (the former Hill, Evans vinegar works) is now underway, with a record being made of all the buildings before they are refurbished, altered or demolished. The site also includes the 19th century Grainger porcelain works, and a previous phase of evaluation has demonstrated that below ground remains are well preserved here.
Among smaller projects, a watching brief on a water main realignment in Sidbury revealed stonework associated with the city wall. Evaluation of a site in St Johns, close to the Sainsbury’s development but within the medieval suburb, revealed a limited range of features. Building recording has also been underway on a group of interesting 18th and 19th century houses, shops and other buildings in Lowesmoor.
Ground investigations have been underway on the site of the proposed cycle and footbridge across the Severn, just downstream from the river navigation locks. On the east bank, one borehole recorded alluvium with organic material, at a depth of between 8.4 and 8.8m below the surface. This is close to the site where in 1844 Jabez Allies reported having found cattle, deer and horse bones, parts of trees, and ‘fragments of Roman urns and pans of red earth, and a piece of Samian ware’ and ‘the greater part of a fine Roman urn, of slate-coloured pottery, eight inches high, and twenty-six in circumference’, at depths of between 20 and 30 feet (around 6 to 9 m).
city archaeology office's
contact details are:
Worcester City Council
26 The Butts
721 132 (James Dinn, Archaeological Officer)
721133 (Sheena Payne, Historic Environment Record Officer)