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Oxford Castle Development Oxford Phase 2 Archaeological Evaluation Report

OAU, OAU Oxford Castle Development Oxford Phase 2 Archaeological Evaluation Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Oxford Archaeology (OA) carried out a field evaluation at Oxford Castle on behalf of Oxford Castle Ltd. The evaluation characterised the motte ditch on its eastern side and the internal castle deposits. The ditch was seen to be approximately 15 m wide and over 6 m deep. Medieval deposits were encountered c 4 m below ground level (bgl) in the centre of the ditch and 2 m bgl at the eastern edge of the ditch. At the base of the ditch a large oak beam was discovered which may possibly have been part of a bridge structure across the ditch.A number of burials were revealed within the ditch, which may have served as a burial ground for executed and other criminals from the county gaol. These may date as early as the late 15th century, but a later (16th century) date is also possible. The ditch was fully backfilled in the 18th century before most of the ditch edge was removed by quarrying. A medieval foundation was seen, in the SE of the area, which may have been part of Shire Hall. The foundation was truncated by pits dated late 11th century or later and by a possible 17th century robber trench. To the NE of the area possible 10th century and 11th century pits were encountered which appeared to be sealed by deposits resulting from the levelling of the Castle ramparts, prior to the construction of New Road. Similarly dated pits were seen in the SE of the area. A 19th century prison lodge and associated garden walls were built over the levelling material. The south western edge of the motte may have sealed Saxon deposits. To the south of the motte a sequence of 17th century trackway surfaces were seen with an associated wall, these formed the main thoroughfare through the Castle. The surfaces were truncated by 18th century buildings which were demolished during the construction of the prison. Walls associated with St. George’s Chapel were exposed below D Wing. Probable Castle structures and possibly part of the curtain wall were seen to the south and west of C Wing. In situ Castle defensive earthworks were exposed in the SE of the site, sealing possible Saxon cultivation deposits. The foundations of a number of prison buildings were also recorded.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:4677
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:05 Mar 2019 10:27
Last Modified:05 Mar 2019 10:27

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