Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Day 2

Today we completed the excavation of the trench with the digger, stepping and sloping-in the sides. The excavation from here on in will continue by hand though Tommy and Paddy will call back to remove the spoil as it accumulates.

Below the extensive rubble and gravel we uncovered a loamy 'garden' or urban soil rich in finds (i.e. rubbish..). The most conspicuous was disarticulated animal bones - sheep, cattle, cat, various birds - along with sherds of pottery and tiles, some bottle glass and lots of clay pipe stems, many decorated. There were also a few pipe bowls, the shape and size of which indicate that they are mostly 18th-century in date with one probable late 17th century example.

clay pipe stem fragments from Bishop Street
It seems probable that this garden soil, approx. 0.5m thick, represents the gardens associated with the Bishop's Palace which occupied the site of the car park from the early 17th century through to the mid-20th century. The stables and other garden buildings were levelled and trees removed in the late 1960s - early 1970s and the site was then tarmaced and used as a car park. The building rubble uncovered in the northern part of the trench, above the garden soils, probably dates to this period of demolition. This rubble includes cobbles which may have surfaced the floor of the stables or other garden buildings.

No comments:

Post a Comment