PCA Monograph No. 16

Friars, Quakers, Industry and Urbanisation

The Archaeology of the Broadmead Expansion Project Cabot Circus, Bristol 2005-2008,
PCA Monograph 16, Cotswold Archaeology Monograph 5

Edited by Victoria Ridgeway and Martin Watts

PCA Monograph No.16The redevelopment of an area of Bristol as the Cabot Circus shopping centre presented a rare opportunity for archaeological investigation of a large part of the city. The site encompassed a Dominican friary and later Friends’ Meeting House; elements of which survived as standing buildings and have been preserved within a large open piazza in the west of the new development. Further remains of the friary complex were revealed in various archaeological interventions around the area of the precinct, enabling a reconstruction of the precinct and its environs to be made.  
Borehole survey demonstrated that the slopes above the river valley were subject to episodic and small scale clearance during the later Neolithic and early Bronze Age.  The immediate area of the Frome appears to have remained largely as mud flats until the development of the Broadmead suburb in the 12th century, and the arrival of the Dominican friars in the 13th century. Riverine access and the presence of flowing water would have been important assets for the industrial suburb, home to tanning, leatherworking, ironworking and cloth industries, which developed alongside the Frome through the medieval and later periods. 
The dissolution of the monasteries brought about major changes in the area of the friary. By the later 17th century the church and chapter house had been demolished, the surviving claustral buildings were occupied by trade guilds and the Quakers had built their first Meeting House.
The 18th and 19th centuries saw enormous expansion of the suburbs resulting in new developments, incorporating industrial premises, saw mills, cabinet works and malthouses, alongside domestic housing. Large dumps of tobacco pipe wasters were recovered alongside the remains of a kiln. The significant assemblage of pipes recovered from the excavations has allowed the development of a new typology for Bristol, which should prove invaluable in dating future assemblages recovered from the city.

The excavations were undertaken jointly by a consortium of Pre-Construct Archaeology and Cotswold Archaeology known collectively as CAPCA. The results are presented in this monograph

Publication Details

Hardback: 385 pages
Publish Date: 2013
Language: English
Colour throughout
ISBN: 978-0-9563054-8-0
Price: £34.95
Available from Oxbow Books or direct from PCA.

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