The Former Norville Factory Site, Tarrington Road, Tredworth. Archaeological Evaluation (OASIS ID: borderar1-272557)

Border Archaeology, 2018

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https://doi.org/10.5284/1049646
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Border Archaeology (2018) The Former Norville Factory Site, Tarrington Road, Tredworth. Archaeological Evaluation (OASIS ID: borderar1-272557) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1049646

Introduction

The Former Norville Factory Site, Tarrington Road, Tredworth. Archaeological Evaluation (OASIS ID: borderar1-272557)

Border Archaeology Ltd was instructed by Markey Construction to undertake a programme of Archaeological Field Evaluation on the site of the former Norville Factory Tarrington Road Tredworth Gloucester. The site was originally established in 1885 to accommodate the Hatherley Step Works producing furniture and patented 'lattice' stepladders, which, by the late 19th century, had achieved worldwide distribution. The site was occupied by the Gloster Aircraft Company during the Second World War and latterly by the Norville Optical Company Limited.

Structural remains presumed to have been associated with the original factory premises, including footings and pipework, were recorded. No other deposits or features of archaeological significance were encountered, although pottery and clay tobacco pipe recovered during the course of the work indicated that, until the construction of the Hatherley Step Works in the latter part of the 19th century, the site had been under cultivation. A single flint flake recovered from the subsoil in Trench 3 had suffered heavy post-depositional damage and could not be dated.

A deposit of silt on the southern part of the site suggested that this area may have been affected by flooding from the adjacent Sudbrook. It seems likely that, at around this date, the Sudbrook, where it ran close to the factory, was canalised, draining the marshy area which was then included in the factory complex. The 1884 Ordnance Survey map shows the line of the Sudbrook as meandering and tree-grown. It is also possible that these episodes of flooding account for the substantial deposit of subsoil, some 0.50m thick, in Trenches 3 and 4.

With the exception of the flint (presumed to be residual), the fact that no finds dated prior to the later post-medieval period were present confirms that the area had been in agricultural use until recent times. It is possible that the remaining finds recovered from the site were deposited at the time of factory construction. A sample of peat from the base of a palaeochannel at a depth of 1.80m in Trench 3 proved to be sterile, suggesting this had formed at some distance from occupation.