Southampton Northern Above Bar Arts Complex, Southampton (SOU1665). Archaeological Watching Brief

Southampton City Council Archaeology Unit, 2018

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https://doi.org/10.5284/1046753
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Southampton City Council Archaeology Unit (2018) Southampton Northern Above Bar Arts Complex, Southampton (SOU1665). Archaeological Watching Brief [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1046753

Introduction

Southampton Northern Above Bar Arts Complex, Southampton (SOU1665). Archaeological Watching Brief

Southampton City Council Archaeology Unit carried out a watching brief on groundworks for the installation of district heating and cooling pipes to the new Southampton Arts Complex. The aims of the investigation were principally to determine the presence or absence of human use of the area, and the date, type, state of preservation, and extent of that use; to recover associated objects; and to record such evidence as does survive. In addition, the nature, dimensions, and relationship of natural deposits were to be noted and recorded.

The site lay to the north of the medieval town, in an area set aside for the leper hospital of St Mary Magdalene. Earlier work in the area had produced prehistoric, Middle Saxon, medieval and post-medieval finds and features. The trenches revealed natural brickearth over River Terrace gravels. A few burnt flints suggest prehistoric activity. Beneath Above Bar Street, gravel surfaces may date back to the medieval period. Soil deposits on the east side of Above Bar Street contained finds of the 18th and 19th centuries probably relating to agriculture and the development of plots for housing in the late 18th century. In the area of East Marlands fields there was less evidence for activity but a soil horizon relating to documented medieval fields was present. No evidence for the Leper Hospital or its cemetery was seen, backing up recent theories that these lay further south.

A few finds were retained, and together with the site records, form the archive.