PRE-CONSTRUCT ARCHAEOLOGY
A single vertibrae from a Right whale found at Greenwich foreshore
 

Burial Grounds & Churchyards

Burial Grounds and Churchyards

28-30 Trinity Street,  London Borough of Southwark

The site was formerly occupied by office and residential buildings on the street frontage with warehouse/workshop buildings to the rear of these. This area, secured for redevelopment was located within an Archaeological Priority Zone as defined in Unitary Development Plan for Southwark.

The excavation which was conducted by PCA, was undertaken in three phases. The first of these preceded demolition of the standing buildings. The second phase was conducted after most of the standing buildings had been demolished. A further break in the archaeological programme ensued whilst the perimeter of the site was secured using interlocking sheet piling.

The excavation consisted of fifteen trenches of varying dimensions that covered the entire footprint of the redevelopment, which amounted to roughly 3,300m2.

The archaeological potential of the site had been demonstrated by an evaluation also previously carried out by PCA . The trial work demonstrated that features and deposits dating to the Roman period were present on the site. An inhumation burial dated AD180-300 was found below the basement slab, the grave was thought to be part of a larger cemetery.

The excavation confirmed that the inhumation recorded during the trial work was not an isolated burial but part of a more extensive cemetery. The graveyard would have covered the entire northern half of the site. Although some areas were devoid of burials, which in part reflected the severe truncation caused by modern basements, inhumations were discovered on or close to the site boundaries on the north, west and east sides. A total of 44 skeletons were recorded. Two cremation burials in urns were also recovered, one of which was found with an inhumation. It is possible that the cemetery might have been established in the very late 2nd century but the vast majority of the burials dated to the 3rd and 4th centuries. Coins recovered from the graves or associated soil horizons demonstrate that some of the burials are among the latest Roman graves excavated in London.

The excavation site at Trinity Street An inhumation with burial goods has been truncated by a later feature A Roman inhumation being cleaned by an archaeologist Roman inhumation with grave goods Fully intact inhumation

150-164 Goswell Road and 2-14 Seward Street, London

Prior to the project the site was occupied by a garage complex and was to be developed into housing. The London Borough of Islington granted planning permission for the development but with archaeological conditions attached, which required the submission of an agreed programme of archaeological work prior to development commencing.

PCA conducted an initial archaeological watching brief, consisting of the monitoring of a series of pits dug to underpin a boundary wall. This work revealed deposits to the west of the site containing evidence of burials, in the form of both articulated and disarticulated bodies, as well as fragments of coffin furniture. The results of this initial watching brief, which included the discovery of a cemetery extending into the study site, led to a further monitoring exercise being carried out.
This exercise was carried out to examine the extent of the archaeological deposits, and to recover the human remains under carefully controlled conditions and appropriate Home Office licence for reburial.

The investigations revealed late Medieval/early Post-Medieval midden material, consisting of refuse and redeposited; brickearth. The ground was subsequently reclaimed and levelled, and a burial ground associated with St. Bartholomew's Hospital was established c1740. This cemetery was used for the interment of unclaimed bodies. A number of phases of burial were identified, with variation in burial practice across them. Approximately 11% of the bodies and charnel remains recovered showed signs of autopsy, the majority of which pre-date the Anatomy Act of 1832 (i.e. before post­mortem practice was legal). The burial ground appeared to become exhausted for space in the early 19th century and was eventually closed c1850.


Land at St Michael and All Saints Church, Mickleham, Surrey

An Archaeological Investigation was conducted by Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd. on land at St Michael and All Saints Church, Mickleham, Surrey in May 2009 and was commissioned by Brewer Jewel Architects. The archaeological work was undertaken during partial demolition of the 19th century vestry and the subsequent ground reduction of the site prior to the construction of a new enlarged vestry.

PCA's role in the project was vital as more human remains were encountered than anticipated. If the proposed foundation design had continued as planned, the likelihood of encountering more skeletons was inevitable. On the basis of the advice provided by PCA's Project Manager Tim Bradley, the foundation design was altered to a load baring raft, which meant that more of the human burials remained preserved in situ, therefore reducing the cost and reducing delays to the development programme.

The investigation consisted of monitoring and recording inhumations encountered during the re-development, along with recording historic features exposed within the fabric of the church. The programme of building recording was limited to an external investigation focussed on only the area impacted upon by the current programme of refurbishment, namely the exposed northern outer wall of the chancel of the Church.

The archaeological work consisted of monitoring and recording the ground reduction at the site to determine the extent of disturbance to human inhumations prior to the forthcoming development, recording any historic features exposed within the fabric of the church, and monitoring any archaeological deposits impacted upon by drainage works associated with the development.

During the investigation a high density of post- medieval inhumations were encountered, containing human skeletal remains, which after recording, were removed for later re-internment.

A small amount of residual Roman pottery and ceramic building material was recovered, suggesting Roman settlement activity on, or near, the study site. Elements of the historic fabric of the church were also recorded during the investigation.

CAD drawing of North facing facing elevation of north outer wall of Chancel Detail of burials in Trench 1