Carved Staghorn Mount from a decorated hunting crossbow

Scheduled Monuments & World Heritage Sites

Scheduled Monuments & World Heritage Sites

Tower of London

Pre-Construct Archaeology conducted a series of works at The Tower of London, commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces.

The Tower of London is a World Heritage Site and a Scheduled Ancient Monument (Greater London No.10). Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent was applied for the erection of a glass, granite and stainless steel sculpture on a concrete foundation. The proposed location of the sculpture was immediately south of the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, on the site of the old burial ground.

The new sculpture was to be a memorial to commemorate the historic victims of execution that took place on this site.

The excavations revealed the brick built plinth of the original memorial, construction of which was ordered by Queen Victoria in the 1860s.

Further archaeological work was implemented in advance of improvement to the access and surfaces of the paved areas of Tower Green and the installation of new public signage throughout the Tower of London.

During this phase of the archaeological investigation, the foundations and cellar walls of a 16th -17th century building were exposed, which is presumed to be the remains of the Old Main Guard.

The brick built plinth of the original memorial, ordered by Queen Victoria in the 1860s The brick plinth is surveyed and recorded The brick plinth is surveyed and recorded The memorial is unveiled at a special ceremony. The sculpture marks the approximate site of scaffold, chopping blocks and executions. The circular memorial focuses on the ten executions that have taken place on Tower Green, within the Royal castle’s walls.

Dover Castle

An archaeological watching brief for the construction of a new Visitor Admissions Building (VAB) and associated car parking and service runs at Dover Castle, Kent was undertaken by PCA in 2009. The watching brief was commissioned by CgMs on behalf of English Heritage.

The site was located on the western side of a terrace at the base of the south slope of the earthwork bank, around the church of St Mary-in-Castro. On the site of the new VAB evidence of the southern lip of a 13th century ditch associated with the existing earthwork was recorded. This had been backfilled during the 19th century. Ground reduction of the lower car park area was monitored intermittently. The work involved the excavation of a drain for surface water east-west across the lower car park area.

Mid 19th century Victorian wall foundations and a drainage gully were uncovered during resurfacing work on the Lower Car Park. These structures were identified as part of the Officers' Barrack as shown on the original engineer's drawings.

Earthwork bank with the watch tower in the distance Top of the earthwork bank is the watch tower and the Saxon church of St Mary Mid 19th century wall foundations, part of the officers' barracks Mid 19th century drainage gully

Ford Moss Colliery, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Ford Moss (or simply Ford) Colliery, close to the village of Ford, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, operated from at least as early as the late 17th century until the early 20th century. At its height, in the industrial mid 19th century, the workings and associated colliery village occupied the lower eastern slopes of Blackchester Hill overlooking the lowland peat bog Ford Moss. The last residents left the colliery village c. 1945 and since then the buildings and associated structures have fallen into disuse. The site of the colliery and its associated village was designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 2002. The scheduled area overlaps to the south-east with the peat bog, now a nature reserve that is designated both a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

In 2010 PCA was commissioned to undertake an archaeological desk-based assessment and topographic survey of the site of the former colliery. This work formed an important contribution to an overall programme of work, the ultimate aim of which is to consolidate the former colliery buildings and structures, with the additional aim to prepare a management plan and an interpretation scheme in order to ensure the long term future of remains across the whole site and to ensure continued public access, to what is a locally, regionally and nationally significant site. The assessment and survey were prepared to support a bid to English Heritage and an application for Higher Level Stewardship through Natural England.

The desk-based assessment identified known cultural heritage assets at the study site and within the surrounding area, allowing an assessment of the potential for previously unrecorded sites. A large body of documentary material was unearthed for the site, from wide variety of sources.

The topographic survey provided the basis of a record of the site, prior to the proposed programme of repair works on buildings and structures. Within the entire SAM all archaeological/earthwork remains and upstanding historic buildings were recorded in outline. Of course, the majority of the recorded features likely represent colliery activity of mid to late 19th century date, with many depicted on the 1st edition of the Ordnance Survey map from the 1860s. The topographic survey employed GPS and Total Station instrumentation, with the collected data supplemented by Environment Agency LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data. All the data was used to generate contour plots and to create digital terrain models (DTMs).

The Grade II listed Engine House Chimney – possibly of Cooper Eye Pit - at Ford Moss Digital terrain model for one of the detailed survey areas at Ford Moss The evocative site of the Engine House of ‘Moss Pit’ at Ford Moss – now an essentially rural site, the landscape here was occupied by numerous pits and an associated colliery village 150 years ago  Structural remains at ‘Temple Pit’ at Ford Moss Earthworks at the site of ‘Stead Pit’ at Ford Moss

Examples of some of the World Heritage Sites/Scheduled Monuments where PCA has conducted Heritage works:

  • Tower of London
  • Westminster Abbey, London
  • Bermondsey Square, London
  • Dover Castle, Kent
  • Non Such Palace, Surrey
  • Downe House, Kent
  • Kew Palace, Kew
  • Kensington Palace
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Chiswick House, London
  • Fulham Place, London
  • Crambeck Roman pottery kilns, near York
  • Corbridge Bridge, Northumberland
  • Rothbury Bridge, Northumberland
  • Berwick-upon-Tweed medieval and post-medieval fortifications, Northumberland
  • Ford Moss Colliery, Northumberland
  • Hadrian’s Wall part of the transnational World Heritage Site ‘Frontiers of the Roman Empire’