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Savile House Music Practice Rooms New College Oxford

Bashford, Robin Savile House Music Practice Rooms New College Oxford. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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OXNSM14_Report.pdf

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OXNSM14_Report_Addendum1.pdf

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OXNSM14_report_addendum_2.pdf

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Abstract

In September 2014, Oxford Archaeology (OA) undertook an archaeological evaluation and topographical survey of the 17th century civil war defences at Savile House Music Practise Rooms, New College, Oxford (SP 5172 0671). The evaluation revealed the sand gravel of the second (Summertown-Radley) gravel terrace, which appeared to slope gradually from south to north and had been truncated by a single undated post hole. The fill of the post hole and the natural gravel were directly overlain by a possible trample deposit associated with the construction of an earth bank which formed part of the inner civil war defences constructed around Oxford in the 17th century. No evidence for the loessic subsoil which overlies the gravel terrace was recovered in-situ, although the composition of the deposits which created the bank was predominantly re-deposited loess overlain by a very compacted layer of re-deposited sand and gravel. This differed from the composition of the rampart of the more substantial outer defensive circuit recorded at Manor Place to the east of the site, although it was very similar to evidence recovered for the composition of another section of the inner bank during groundworks for the construction of The New Oxford University Clubhouse on the east side of Mansfield Road. It is entirely possible that the marked difference in the composition of the inner and outer defences reflects a better organised construction programme for the latter, although the topographical and stratigraphical evidence from the evaluation may indicate that an earlier feature in the landscape has influenced the location of the inner defences, and possibly been incorporated into them. Following on from the results of the evaluation, an additional topographical and auger survey of the defensive bank was requested by the Oxford City Council (OCC) Archaeologist. The results of this survey confirmed that the composition of the bank was predominantly a re-deposition of the loessic subsoil which overlies the second (Summertown-Radley) gravel terrace upon which Oxford sits. Addendum 1 In November 2014, Oxford Archaeology (OA) undertook an archaeological evaluation and topographical survey of the 17th century civil war defences at Savile House Music Practise Rooms, New College, Oxford (SP 5172 0671, OA 2014). Following on from the results of the evaluation, an additional topographical and auger survey of the defensive bank was requested by the Oxford City Council (OCC) Archaeologist. The results of this survey confirmed that the composition of the bank was predominantly a re-deposition of the loessic subsoil which overlies the second (Summertown-Radley) gravel terrace upon which Oxford sits. Addendum 2 In September 2014, Oxford Archaeology (OA) undertook an archaeological evaluation and topographical survey of the 17th century civil war defences at Savile House Music Practise Rooms, New College, Oxford (SP 5172 0671, OA 2014) This was followed in November 2014 by an additional topographical and auger survey of the defensive bank requested by the Oxford City Council (OCC) Archaeologist. The results of this survey were presented in an addendum to the original report, and confirmed that the composition of the bank was predominantly a re-deposition of the loessic subsoil which overlies the second (Summertown- Radley) gravel terrace upon which Oxford sits. During the original evaluation, OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) samples were also taken and the result of the dating of one of these samples is the subject of this second addendum to the original report. The evaluation revealed the sand gravel of the second (Summertown-Radley) gravel terrace, which appeared to slope gradually from south to north and had been truncated by a single undated post hole. The fill of the post hole and the natural gravel were directly overlain by a series of deposits associated with an earth bank which formed part of the inner civil war defences constructed around Oxford in the 17th century. The composition of the deposits which created the bank was predominantly a re-deposition of the loessic subsoil which overlies the gravel terrace, overlain by a very compacted layer of re-deposited sand and gravel. This differed from the composition of the rampart of the more substantial outer defensive circuit recorded at Manor Place to the east of the site, although it was very similar to evidence recovered for the composition of another section of the inner bank during groundworks for the construction of The New Oxford University Clubhouse on the east side of Mansfield Road. The topographical and stratigraphical evidence from the evaluation indicated that an earlier feature in the landscape - represented by the re-deposited loess - may have influenced the location of the inner defences, and possibly been incorporated into them when a ditch was excavated to the north of the feature and the resulting spoil used to raise the top of the bank - as represented by the compacted sand and gravel. The results of the dating of one of the OSL samples from the re-deposited loess suggested a date of 880-1045 for the deposition of the original bank material, which strongly suggested that this interpretation is correct. The interpretation of the origin and function of this feature is rather more circumspect.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:5775
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:15 May 2020 13:26
Last Modified:15 May 2020 13:26

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