PRE-CONSTRUCT ARCHAEOLOGY
Roman 'Perlrandbecken' or pearl edged bowl, from Drapers' Gardens
 

News


13th January 2017

WE have launched our new PCA Blog - http://pcaarchaeology.blogspot.co.uk


16th December 2016

PCA North are in the final days of an excavation at the site of an 18th- to 19th-century pottery works situated in the Forth Banks area of Newcastle upon Tyne which us being carried out on behalf of the Marcus Worthington Group. In the medieval period the site was located beyond the medieval walls of the city on the western side of the Skinner Burn, a tributary of the River Tyne occupying a steeply-incised valley on the northern banks of the Tyne Valley. Traces of medieval boundary ditches excavated at the site probably attest to the use of this area as agricultural land. The valley of the Skinner Burn was gradually infilled from the 18th century and the stream was culverted between 1840 and 1859. This part of Newcastle became a focus for industrial activity from the 1750s with glass and flint works, lime kilns, rope manufacturers and a large brewery all established in the area. The first pottery to occupy the site was destroyed by fire in 1758. By 1787 a new pottery had been built, which at that time was known as the Skinner Burn Pottery, worked by George Spearman & Co. Three years later this pottery had passed into the hands of Addison Falconer and Co. Following several more changes in ownership it was finally known as ‘The Newcastle Pottery’ in 1862 and was pulled down sometime between 1879 and 1896. In the 20th century the site was used for a variety of uses, including a piggery, stone yard, stables, slaughter house and garage.

Preservation of structural remains of the pottery varies across the site, with most of the kilns having been completely demolished and their location only visible as burnt patches in the natural clay. However, in the south-east corner of the site the stone foundation and one course of brick of a kiln shown on an 1830 map survived. Below ground features such as slip tanks also survived well with some areas of well-preserved floor surfaces also exposed.

Not surprisingly we have recovered large quantities of pottery wasters and kiln furniture, including large saggars and kiln ‘stilts’ and rods which were used to prevent glazed wares from sticking to the shelves, saggars and other pots. Amongst the wasters are vessels which are misshapen and transfer printed wares which have not been glazed. Some of the waster plates had evidently been used by the workers as convenient notepads, including a fragment which lists quantities of ‘T plates, cups and saucers’.


21st November 2016

PCA is seeking an experienced CAD Technician to work in the CAD department, which is based  in the London Offices.The post involves using AutoCAD to produce archaeological maps and stratigraphic drawings for all of the PCA offices. This involves the digitisation of archaeological plans and sections and the production of archaeological plans, to illustrate all types of  report. These include Watching Brief and Evaluation Reports, Assessments and publications, including PCA Monographs, academic journals, and other outlets. Other tasks include: the drawing up of standing building recording; historic map regression work, and illustrations for Desk Based Assessments. See Careers for more detail.


10th November 2016

COPACOPA: Professional Archaeology for HS2
We are pleased to announce that a new website has been launched www.coparchaeology.co.uk to showcase the capability of the UK's largest ever consortium of professional archaeologists. COPA is formed from Cotswold Archaeology; Oxford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology, three of the largest and most successful archaeological companies in the country. We have a combined annual turnover of over £25m and between us 92 years of experience in the delivery of complex archaeological projects.

We have come together to allow us to bid for elements of the archaeological work required during the construction of Phase 1 of the HS2 high speed railway line between London and Birmingham. We anticipate that archaeological fieldwork will commence in 2017 and last for several years, and we want to be involved in what is likely to be the largest programme of archaeological investigation ever seen in this country. We have a set of established offices within easy reach of the route of HS2.

COPA is a natural fit as all three partners have a proven record of working together. Oxford and Pre-Construct have collaborated on a number of projects, including the Thameslink railway improvement in London; Cotswold and Oxford are currently working on a complex excavation in Oxfordshire, and Pre-Construct and Cotswold jointly delivered the investigations in advance of the Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol. We are therefore a tried and trusted consortium with a history of collaboration and partnership.

Gary Brown, PCA's Managing Director, said 'We are delighted to have formed COPA with our long-established partners, and we will collectively be working hard over the coming months as we seek to secure our involvement in this unique opportunity to transform our knowledge of the past societies that once lived on the line of the new railway'.


The Bolyn Ground3rd November 2016

The Boleyn Ground West Ham Football Club.
Works are underway to excavate archaeological remains in advance of the redevelopment of the site. The excavations are focussing on the locations where the new developments, built by Barratt London, will be positioned. The archaeologists will continue until all of the deposits and remains have been fully investigated and recorded, to the satisfaction of the London Borough of Newham and their advisors at Historic England.

Click on the image to read the full poster.


28th September 2016

Listen to PCA’s Chris Mayo talking last night to Mark Forrest on BBC Local Radio. Chris was invited on to talk about the findings at one of PCA’s sites in Manchester and discussed working in archaeology and some of the fantastic sites he has been involved in. You can listen to him here (about 2hrs .45 in to the programme) at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p046w4lx

: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1858675/ruins-of-an-ancient-200-year-old-pub-discovered-under-a-manchester-street-complete-with-bottles-of-old-booze/


The Lant Street Teenager

There has been a recent flurry of press interest in PCA’s Roman cemetery site at Lant Street, Southwark (excavated by AOC/post-excavation work by PCA). A paper recently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, reports on a study of the ancestry, mobility and diet of a sample of Roman burials from the site. The discovery of a teenage girl, buried with an unusual array of grave goods, including an ivory-handled knife in the form of a panther, inspired further work, including stable isotope analysis.

The ‘Lant Street teenager’ has continued to draw attention, featuring in a temporary exhibition at the Museum of London, following a DNA analysis by McMaster University (Canada). Her stable isotopes show that she grew up in the southern Mediterranean and ended her life in Londinium, it seems she had blue eyes and her maternal ancestry could be traced to south-eastern Europe and west Eurasia, at the eastern fringes of the Roman Empire.
We know from evidence such as material culture, foodstuffs, inscriptions and contemporary accounts that Londinium housed a diverse population and it was not particularly surprising that some of the individuals tested were of African origin, nor that many grew up in a warmer climate than Britain, around the southern Mediterranean before moving to Britain. However, two or three were probably Asian and this is a first for the province, inspiring much press interest. Links to some recent press articles can be found below.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mysterious-chinese-skeletons-ancient-cemetery-shed-new-light-roman-empire-1583008

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3803648/A-meeting-two-ancient-empires-Chinese-skeletons-Roman-cemetery-promise-rewrite-history.html


13th September 2016

PCA Southern Office is seeking applications from Field Archaeologists who are able to work on sites in central and Greater London and in the wider South-East region with an immediate start. See our Careers page for more detail.


1st September 2016

Jenny Proctor, Regional Manager at our Durham office will be speaking at Current Archaeology's conference this Sunday. Current Archaeology Live!  presents a special conference 2nd to 4th September, in partnership with Durham University. See the following information: 40 years of frontier research at Hadrian's wall.


11th August 2016

We have just published two new Monographs.

PCA Monograph 19

An Immense and Exceedingly Commodious Goods Station
The Archaeology and History of the Great Northern Railway's Goods Yard at King's Cross, 1849 to the Present Day
Price: £30.00


PCA Monograph 20

A Quaker Burial Ground at North Shields. Excavations at Coach Lane, Tyne and Wear
Price: £20.00



6th June 2016

Paul Jorgensen, senior supervisor at PCA is giving a talk to the Enfield Archaeological Society on Friday (June 10) . The talk will cover PCA's work in the Triforium and in Poets' Corner Yard. 

http://www.enfarchsoc.org/lectures/


6th May 2016

photograph from the 1980'sOn Saturday, 30 April 2016, an open day was held at 74-88 Great Ancoats Street, with the public invited to view the archaeologically excavated site and some of the finds from the excavations.  The site, located at the junction of Port Street and Great Ancoats Street, uncovered several 19th century workers houses and the rear rooms and courtyard of a former pub. It has revealed a large assemblage of finds, which provide insight into the lives of the people who lived and worked in the area. Many of the visitors to site were interested to learn that most of the houses had only knocked down in the 1980s. The continual occupation and late demolition of the housing on site likely led to the 19th century cellar dwellings being well preserved, unlike the original pub, which had been removed by modern renovations. Click here to read the full report


4th May 2016

Two members of our office in London, Charlotte Matthews and Paw Jorgensen, are invited to talk at the London Archaeology Forum (LAF) on Monday 9th May at the Museum of London. Charlotte will present cases of interesting pubs from around London and Paw will talk about Westminster Abbey & the Triforium Galleries. The forum starts at 6:15. The event is open to the public.
For more information visit: https://archaeologyinlondon.com/cbalhome/london-archaeology-forum/  


28th April 2016

PCA’s project at 74-88 Great Ancoats Street is drawing to a close having exposed extensive 19th and 20th century structural remains of warehouse structures and workers dwellings. The excavation has yielded an exciting assemblage of artefacts including numerous bottles and ceramic items inscribed with the names of local residents, and undoubtedly patrons of the Astley Arms, later The Paganini Tavern, which stood upon the site from the 1820s until very recently.
The public are invited by the developers, Mulbury City, and PCA to view the remains and talk to the archaeological team this Saturday, 30th April 2016, between 1000 and 1400.



26th April 2016

More updates on our current archaeolgical works at Fulham High Street, London. See the attached poster.


25th April 2016

PCA is currently excavating a site on Great Ancoats Street in Manchester for Mulberry City. The work is revealing excellent preservation of 19th century cellars and external yard surfaces, and is producing an exciting assemblage of bottles and pottery which relate to the Astley Arms pub which formerly stood on one side of the site. The work has generated much local interest and featured in the Manchester Evening News on 22 April 2016. [http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/port-street-pub-building-site-11221280]


19th April 2016

Jenny Proctor, PCA North, has recently been appointed as the new editor of Archaeologia Aeliana, the journal of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne.

From the SANT website:

The society was founded in 1814 and the first volume was published in 1822.It appeared intermittently at first, but for the last hundred years one volume has been published each year. The journal covers all aspects of the history of North-East England, ranging from archaeology (including excavation reports) and buildings to historical and documentary research, and from prehistory to the present. It has always been an important vehicle for the publication of research on Hadrian's Wall and the Romans in North-East England.


18th March 2016

Our latest update on our current archaeolgical works at Fulham High Street, London:


4th March 2016

Congratulations to PCA’s Monograph Manager Victoria Ridgeway on her recent appointment as ‘Visiting Researcher’ at the University of Newcastle.

This comes partly out of the recognition of previous research at the University for her MLitt, which looked at the ritual landscape of Roman Southwark. This provided an opportunity to draw together the results of decades of rescue and commercial work across the suburb and examine their relationship to the broader landscape. Her ongoing research interests continue to revolve around the Roman city and its hinterland, ritual practices and the changing use and form of the landscape and river regime through time.

The role of Visiting Researcher also reflects commitment to ongoing and future collaborations between PCA and Newcastle University’s Department of Archaeology. This collaboration allows not only for the valued input of academic researchers into PCA’s work but also gives students of archaeology opportunities to work with large assemblages and to experience working in the commercial sector alongside professional archaeologists.


22nd February 2016

Cambridge Antiquarian Society will be holding their spring conference this Saturday, February 27th from 9:30am. See the following link. Click here for the programme (PDF)


16th December 2015

Temples and Suburbs: Excavations at Tabard Square, SouthwarkOur latest publication has been published - Temples and Suburbs: Excavations at Tabard Square, Southwark by Douglas Killock. See our Publications for details.
Excavations at Tabard Square in 2002 transformed our perceptions of Londinium's ritual landscape and refined our understanding of Southwark's prehistoric and Roman topography. Many of our star finds were found at Tabard Square which include the famous marble tablet (See About and Southwark Council's website) and the sealed Roman container which was opened live on television (The Guardian article). This eagerly awaited Monograph on the project is available direct from us and Oxbow Books.



24th September 2015

New CEO of Heritage England visits PCA at Westminster Abbey

Duncan Wilson at Westminster AbbeyFrom L to R. Gary Brown, Paw Jorgensen, Warwick Rodwell, Ptolemy Dean, Kirstie Robbins, Gill King, Sandy Kidd, Duncan Wilson On Friday 4th September Pre-Construct Archaeology was pleased to welcome to our excavations at Poets Corner Yard, Westminster Abbey the new Chief Executive of Historic England, Mr Duncan Wilson, OBE.

Also present on this occasion were Professor Warwick Rodwell, Consultant Archaeologist, Westminster Abbey, Ptolemy Dean, Ptolemy Dean Architects, Surveyor of the Fabric, other members of the Westminster Abbey team as well as Sandy Kidd and Gill King from the Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service. Paw Jorgensen, PCA's Senior Archaeologist, escorted Mr Wilson and other members of the party around the site. Although the excavations are relatively small they will provide invaluable information concerning the layout and construction of Henry III abbey church in the vicinity of the Chapter House, the use of this space in the later medieval and post-medieval eras and, aspects of the earlier monastic burial ground.

Supervisor Paw Jorgensen with Gill King and Duncan WilsonFollowing the visit Gill King, the GLAAS officer for Westminster, wrote: "Sandy and I send our very sincere thanks to you and all of your team for making Duncan Wilson's visit to the excavation at Westminster Abbey so interesting and informative. I believe he was most impressed.

I am very grateful for the effort that you went to and that your team were all so engaging and professional. Paw was really quite magnificent."



24th September 2015

PCA was mentioned in a few news articles recently in regards to our ongoing excavations being done at Westminster Abbey. The excavation has seen skeletons of up to 50 people being uncovered, along with an unusual discovery of a three-year-old child buried in a wooden coffin.

The following links explain in detail our recent discoveries along with images:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/sep/23/westminster-abbey-medieval-burial-remains-demolition-new-tower

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3245557/Up-50-skeletons-buried-11th-century-beneath-Westminister-Abbey-drainage-pipes.html


Victoria Ridgeway with Dr James Gerrard afte the ceremony28th July 2015

Huge congratulations to Victoria Ridgeway (pictured here at the ceremony with tutor Dr James Gerrard) for graduating from Newcastle University. Vicki has been awarded a distinction Master of Letters (MLitt) for her disertation : A Ritual Landscape in Roman Southwark. The view from Watling Street and Londinium's southern approaches.



7th July 2015

Skeleton ExhibitionOn June 3rd 2015 PCA attended a private event hosted by Lothbury Investment Management at the ‘Society of Antiquaries of London’.

PCA have worked on many of the heritage aspects of sites being developed by Lothbury. Lothbury invited the various project teams involved in their ventures to an exhibition and reception to showcase some of the more important archaeological aspects of these developments. The event was a great success . PCA is proud to have worked with Lothbury and its heritage consultant, Richard Hughes to bring these projects to a satisfactory conclusion and look forward to working with them again in the future.


6th July 2015

Side View Of Overall DisplayExtended until August 14th the Museum of London has a small display showcasing Overall displayour recent discoveries from excavations at Dickens Square in Southwark at the Baitul Aziz Mosque. This shows another chapter in the story of places where Londoners have been living and working as part of the Museums of London’s “Looking for Londoners’’ Project.  Roman cemetery remains and post-medieval find formed the core of the new discoveries.

The projects proved a highly successful collaborative effort between archaeologists of PCA with volunteers from the Baitul Aziz Mosque. The Potteryvolunteers established themselves as true professionals, one of whom has continued  to work as an archaeologist on other projects since completion of the work on the Dickens Square site. People viewing some of the artefacts

For more information on this exhibition see the Museum of London’s website: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/exhibitions-displays/looking-for-londoners/#sthash.5pJUSkDJ.dpuf

If you never had the chance to check out our blog which followed the community project or would like to recap be sure to click the link here: https://preconstruct.wordpress.com/


29th April 2015

Medieval Pits and DitchesDitch which contains peices of a wooden postInvestigations are continuing at the site of the former Territorial Pub in Cromwell Walk, Huntingdon. The team have been making the most of the good weather investigating more of the medieval pits and ditches across the site. We have also found clusters of postholes which provide some evidence for buildings on the site from this period.

One ditch which is currently being investigated contains pieces of a wooden post. The wood which has squared edges has been well preserved in the Peices of a wooden postwet soil conditions and may be from a medieval building or a fenceline. The ditch appears to have been maintained over a long period and investigations continue to establish if the ditch has earlier origins as it is aligned with the Roman road of Ermine Street.

An intersting ammonite was recovered.A large medieval pit discovered against the edge of the site may be the remains of a well or possibly a pit which was dug for the disposal of "night soils" from the town. The pit is very deep and investigation continues to find out its full depth and also what deposits and finds may be at the bottom…

Although not strictly one for the archaeologists, an interesting ammonite was also recovered from within the natural gravels.


22nd April 2015

post-medieval soil depositspost-medieval glass bottlesAn archaeological excavation is being undertaken by Pre-Construct Archaeology on behalf of McCarthy and Stone and their archaeological consultants, CgMs Consulting. The site is located adjacent to the Roman road of Ermine Street within the town boundary of medieval Huntingdon.

The excavations began on Tuesday 7th April and so far have revealed post-medieval soil deposits sealed by the 19th century-20th century made ground.

So far, digging has revealed pits containing an interesting range of medieval and post-medieval pottery, animal bone, leather shoes and glass bottles. Following the removal of these deposits the medieval horizon of activity will be excavated to further the understanding of the site during the medieval period.


15th April 2015

Pre-Construct Archaeology Limited is seeking applications from Field Archaeologists who are able to work on sites in central and Greater London and in the wider South-East region with an immediate start. See Careers page or BAJR for details.


27th March 2015

Excavations at 15-17 Clarendon CentreWe have just published a new Excavation Monograph titled: Excavations at 15-17 Clarendon Centre by Alistair Douglas.
The excavations have provided an insight into the crafts and trades operating adjacent to the wealthy merchants' households and inns of the north-west quadrant of the medieval city centre. See the full summary here.



10th October 2014

Fulham Palace Walled Garden Orchard Project 2014

Following from the successful community archaeology project undertaken by the Fulham Palace Trust working with Pre-Construct Archaeology Limited in 2012, we have again joined forces to complete another public archaeology project. This time the aim is to create a formal orchard within the eastern quadrant of the Walled Garden within this Scheduled Monument. Almost 50 tree planting pits are being excavated by experienced and amateur volunteers overseen by Alexis Haslam and Kari Bower of PCA.

The pits are being excavated by hand to ensure that all encountered archaeology is fully investigated. The work started on Monday 6th October and is due to complete on Friday 24th October.

This coming Sunday, 12th October, is a drop-in day on site where the team will be working and available to answer questions from members of the public.
More details on the project can be found at the Fulham Palace website http://www.fulhampalace.org/ and http://www.fulhampalace.org/volunteer-opportunities-with-our-community-archaeology-dig/.
Chris Mayo, Project Manager


28th August 2014

A team from PCA’s North Regional Office have recently concluded two area excavations on a site beside the Custom House on Newcastle’s Quayside. The s...ite is being developed by Live Theatre as ‘LiveWorks’, a £10 million capital development scheme, to provide new commercial office space, a new public park and a children and young people’s writing centre.

Fully developed in the mid and late 19th century and then cleared, the site was occupied from the 1930s by a garage, a building latterly used as a music venue and indoor market before being demolished in recent years. The plot has remained empty since then, providing a well-known gap in the Quayside frontage. Archaeologically, the plot lies within the medieval town walls of Newcastle, in an area which was reclaimed from the River Tyne by 1400. The original north bank of the Tyne lay approximately 60m north of the site, with the riverfront now 25m further south of the site.

Towards the street frontage PCA’s team exposed well-preserved cellars of post-medieval date, these built upon deep medieval ballast - material imported to elevate the ground level as land reclamation took place. In a second area excavation towards the rear of the plot, the team recorded further structural remains, most notably a substantial medieval wall, probably a property boundary constructed as the land was being reclaimed and then retained for many centuries. Deeply stratified deposits either side of the wall provided much artefactual material and evidence of industrial processes of medieval date.

PCA is delighted to have undertaken the archaeological component of the LiveWorks project, a scheme which will undoubtedly transform this part of Newcastle’s Quayside. At a press day in June, held following the granting of planning permission, Jim Beirne, Chief Executive, Live Theatre said: “We are delighted that planners had given approval to LiveWorks scheme and are excited to move the project through the archaeological survey and then onto the next phase of design and build.”


1st August 2014
Excavations on Newcastle’s Quayside for Live Theatre’s ‘LiveWorks’ Development

Excavations at Newcastle's QuaysideA team from PCA’s North Regional Office have recently concluded two area excavations on a site beside the Custom House on Newcastle’s Quayside. The site is being developed by Live Theatre as ‘LiveWorks’, a £10 million capital development scheme, to provide new commercial office space, a new public park and a children and young people’s writing centre.

Excavations at Newcastle's QuaysideFully developed in the mid and late 19th century and then cleared, the site was occupied from the 1930s by a garage, a building latterly used as a music venue and indoor market before being demolished in recent years. The plot has remained empty since then, providing a well-known gap in the Quayside frontage. Archaeologically, the plot lies within the medieval town walls of Newcastle, in an area which was reclaimed from the River Tyne by 1400. The original north bank of the Tyne lay approximately 60m north of the site, with the riverfront now 25m further south of the site.

Towards the street frontage PCA’s team exposed well-preserved cellars of post-medieval date, these built upon deep medieval ballast - material imported to elevate the ground level as land reclamation took place. Excavations at Newcastle's QuaysideIn a second area excavation towards the rear of the plot, the team recorded further structural remains, most notably a substantial medieval wall, probably a property boundary constructed as the land was being reclaimed and then retained for many centuries.Deeply stratified deposits either side of the wall provided much artefactual material and evidence of industrial processes of medieval date.

PCA is delighted to have undertaken the archaeological component of the LiveWorks project, a scheme which will undoubtedly transform this part of Newcastle’s Quayside. At a press day in June, held following the granting of planning permission, Jim Beirne, Chief Executive, Live Theatre said: “We are delighted that planners had given approval to LiveWorks scheme and are excited to move the project through the archaeological survey and then onto the next phase of design and build.”


Kids digging28th July 2014
Great Barton Excavation

A team of archaeologists from Pre-Construct Archaeology carried out an excavation at the edge of the village of Great Barton, Suffolk during June and July 2014.

The team uncovered remains relating to the late Saxon to early medieval expansion of the village dating back around 1,000 years. Evidence for former houses and farm buildings was found, as well as several cess pits (toilets) at the rear of the houses. The people who lived here at the village edge would have worked the land and relied upon it for their living. Fragments of cooking pots and tableware were found across the site, and other objects from daily life including an iron knife and horse spur were also recovered.

This archaeological excavation has allowed us to look back into the history of the village of Great Barton during an exciting period in Britain’s past and catch a glimpse of the everyday people who lived here. Pre-Construct Archaeology would like to thank Iceni Homes and to Suffolk Housing Society for funding the work and for inviting the children from Great Barton primary school to visit the site. The children are currently studying the Anglo-Saxons and enjoyed the chance to gain hands-on experience of this subject.

Kids talk kids talk 2 money shot post alignment

 


24th June 2014
New Regional Project Manager for PCA North

The Directors of Pre-Construct Archaeology are delighted to announce that the new Regional Manager of the Durham office (PCA North) is Paul G Johnson. He will be starting with us on Monday 30th June following a long stint as a Project Manager with a competitor organisation in the region! A native of the north-east, Paul is familiar with the archaeology of this region from the prehistoric to the modern periods, and he has also worked on sites from Cornwall to Shetland in his 24 year career. Paul will be building on the reputation established by his predecessor, Robin Taylor–Wilson, who is retiring after 18 years with PCA. We welcome Paul and wish him every success in his new role.

19th May 2014

Pre-Construct Archaeology are currently working with Kent University on a series of monographs which seek to bring to publication the results of fieldwork and research undertaken by the Department  of Classics and Archaeology. The first of these, published in 2013, is a report on survey and excavation work at Nettleton and Rothwell in Lincolnshire, by Dr Steven Willis.


8th May 2014

Our PCA North Regional Office is currently seeking expressions of interest from experienced archaeologists to undertake excavations in central Newcastle-upon-Tyne and central Manchester/Salford. See Careers for more details.


4th April 2014

Featured on BBC's website yesterday was the new working Middle Drawbridge at the Tower of London. The drawbridge element was removed in 1978. This was a project which PCA worked on recording the archaeology.