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Stages 1 & 2 Trial Trenching North East Embankment Former Henley Cable Works Northfleet Kent

Cook, Ian and Hughes, Vix and Donnelly, Mike Stages 1 & 2 Trial Trenching North East Embankment Former Henley Cable Works Northfleet Kent. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Between the 1st - 12th of October 2012 Oxford Archaeology (OA) undertook a trial trench evaluation of land at the former Henley Cable Works, Northfleet, Kent. The work was commissioned by the Housing and Communities Agency (HCA) to discharge condition 34 of Planning Application 2011/0320. A specification was set by Kent County Council and was designed to inform further mitigation measures for future land raising and development at the site. The development site is situated upon on the former location of the Victorian Rosherville Gardens, constructed in the 1840s on a disused chalk pit. The gardens enjoyed a period of prosperity in the mid to late 19th century, eventually falling into decline and permanently closed in the mid 1930s. The gardens were levelled and replaced with the W T Henley Cable Works, which have recently been demolished. The Stage 1 trial trenching exercise comprised three trenches excavated to establish whether any structures relating to Rosherville Gardens survive on site despite levelling in the mid 20th century and recent remediation associated with the demolition of the Cable Works. A buried soil, ornamental wall and the possible remains of a shell path were observed towards the north of the site in Trench 1 and may represent an old ground surface possibly associated with flowerbeds or later allotments. The remains of a circular structure and associated walls were uncovered towards the centre of the site in Trench 2 and appear to be the remains of the Bear Pit – a well known feature within Rosherville Gardens. Trench 3, to the south of the site, revealed no archaeological deposits. Stage 2�� Between 21st November and 10th December 2012 Oxford Archaeology (OA) undertook a trial trench evaluation of land at the former Henley Cable Works, Northfleet, Kent. The work was commissioned by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to discharge condition 34 of Planning Application 2011/0320. A specification was set by Kent County Council and was designed to inform further mitigation measures for future land raising and development at the site. This was the second stage of trial trenching which followed on from the Stage 1 trial trenching exercise carried out in October 2012 The development site is situated upon on the former location of the Victorian Rosherville Gardens, constructed in the 1840s on a disused chalk pit. The pleasure gardens enjoyed a period of prosperity in the mid to late 19th century, eventually falling into decline and finally wound up in 1924. After their closure, the gardens were eventually sold in the 1930s and the site levelled and replaced with the W T Henley Cable Works. The Cable Works themselves were demolished in 2010 and the site left vacant. The Stage 2 trial trenching exercise comprised four trenches (Trenches 4 - 7) and extensions to Trench 2. These were excavated to establish the extent to which structures relating to Rosherville Gardens survived on site and to provide sufficient data and interpretation to inform a Statement of Significance on the surviving heritage assets The remains of a circular structure and associated walls previously uncovered towards the centre of the site in Trench 2, were confirmed as the remains of the Bear Pit – a well known feature within Rosherville Gardens. The lower half of the structure survived as a circular brick wall, with an internal slate floor. Further work detailed the remains of four 'rooms' to the north-east which were an integral part of the structure and housed the animal pens and possible storage areas. These were beneath the numerous tip deposits deliberately laid as part of the construction for the mound and Broad Walk within which the Bear Pit was situated. The Broad Walk that surrounded the Bear Pit lead off to the north-east and south-west. Traces of the shell paved footpath were seen. Trench 4 contained the truncated remains of the mound upon which the Upper Terrace structure sat. No structural remains survived. No traces of the path associated with the Broad Walk was detected. Trench 5 contained no obvious structural evidence. However, one cut feature of uncertain date that may relate to the gardens survived and contained deposits consistent with garden soils. Trench 6 revealed a limited amount of archaeological remains, much of which may have been associated with the later Henley Cable Works. There were no remains that could be unequivocally related to the Banqueting Hall, but it is possible that the heavily disturbed and truncated deposits may represent the fragmentary remains of construction cuts and foundations associated with the Hall. Trench 7, a contingency trench, revealed the heavily disturbed remnants of the base of a terracotta element, probably remnants of the Fountain situated within the Broad Walk, which was later altered to house a flaming urn. Evidence for the substantial mound deposit, on which the Broad Walk and Fountain rested was also uncovered.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Kent
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:1184
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:03 Jul 2013 13:30
Last Modified:03 Jul 2013 13:30

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