Latest Archaeological News from Worcester City - A
very busy six months has concentrated on smaller projects
which, at the time of writing, are still underway or reports
An evaluation on the site
of the former cattle market at The Butts (Mike Napthan Archaeology)
showed that the lower courses of the city wall were preserved
here, as well as part of the north aisle of St Clement’s church.
This church is thought to have been built just before the
Norman conquest (a unique gold coin of Edward the Confessor
was found in the walls when it was demolished in the 1820s).
St Clement’s had an extensive parish on the west side of the
river (it was just next to the medieval bridge), and was replaced
by the ‘new’ St Clement’s in Henwick Road. It also had a special
responsibility for the river, and a floating church was in
use for much of the 19th century before being parked on the
old church site and used as a church hall.
A watching brief at 11 Edgar
Street (Mike Napthan Archaeology) provided evidence of what
may have been the medieval monastic precinct wall which now
forms one wall of the cellar. Soft deposits are extremely
deep here, probably because deep Roman ditches run below this
area. Close by, at 26 College Street (Worcester City Council),
the deposits are much shallower. Minor works to a cellar floor
produced a slag surface of probable Roman date.
A much larger watching brief took place during the resurfacing
of Fish Street (Mike Napthan Archaeology). Here, medieval
occupation deposits occur almost immediately below the modern
road surfaces. It was possible to avoid extensive damage to
these, but where service connections and other deeper works
were needed it was possible to do much excavation by hand.
The reason for the very high level of these deposits is still
uncertain - medieval deposits on the south side of Fish Street
are generally buried about 1m deeper - but it may be associated
with the Roman defensive bank which is known to have run through
this area. The steep incline of Deansway between Copenhagen
Street and Fish Street has long been thought to have been
related to this feature. It may be, therefore, that the bank
survived as an earthwork well into the medieval period, and
that instead of being levelled later on, soil was dumped around
it, preserving it intact, as appeared to be the case at the
Finds from Fish Street included
an almost complete medieval baluster jug, and several fragments
of 17th century carved tombstones which had been discarded
from St Helen’s church in the 1890s. A much larger block of
worked stone was also found, which may have been part of a
Other work has taken place at St George’s Church (Sansome
Place), King’s School (Mill Street), Diglis, City Walls Road,
South Quay, the Hopmarket, and Sidbury, and reports on some
of these will appear in a future column.