St John the Apostle, Sheepscombe, Gloucestershire. Archaeological Watching Brief (OASIS ID: urbanarc1-291077)

Urban Archaeology, 2018

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https://doi.org/10.5284/1048384
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Urban Archaeology (2018) St John the Apostle, Sheepscombe, Gloucestershire. Archaeological Watching Brief (OASIS ID: urbanarc1-291077) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1048384

Introduction

St John the Apostle, Sheepscombe, Gloucestershire. Archaeological Watching Brief (OASIS ID: urbanarc1-291077)

On the 8th and 9th August 2017 Urban Archaeology carried out a watching brief at St John the Apostle, Sheepscombe during the construction of two new French Drains and soakaways within the churchyard to the north of the church. Archaeological recording shows that the site was terraced to create a horizontal platform for the construction of the church, which was built with only limited foundations on the exposed natural ground. The observed walls date from the early 19th century rebuild of the west end when the porch and tower were added. The south side of the nave was built directly on the natural clay substrate, with foundations limited to a buttress; the north side of the nave was founded on a single, slightly offset course of limestone rubble blocks, whilst the porch, carrying the bell tower, had at least two courses of rubble foundation.

There was no evidence for dumping of spoil at the north of the graveyard to level the ground, and it may be that the steep slope to the north is largely due to the hollow-way to the north and the underlying and complex local topography. A stone drain identified in the eastern trench had a fall north down the slope. It is undated, but is likely to date from the construction of the original church, or its 1872 enlargement, and be part of a system intended to take water away from the church, presumably draining into the hollow-way to the north. No human remains, burials or grave furniture were disturbed during the watching brief.