Monument House, Gloucester, Gloucestershire. Archaeological Watching Brief (OASIS ID: urbanarc1-301647)

Urban Archaeology, 2018

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Urban Archaeology (2018) Monument House, Gloucester, Gloucestershire. Archaeological Watching Brief (OASIS ID: urbanarc1-301647) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]


Monument House, Gloucester, Gloucestershire. Archaeological Watching Brief (OASIS ID: urbanarc1-301647)

In February and March 2018 Urban Archaeology undertook an archaeological watching brief during the renovation of Monument House, Gloucester, Gloucestershire and during groundworks associated with the construction of a new extension. Archaeological deposits on the site were complex, and deep. Natural ground was not reached, and the earliest deposit was an alluvial-type silt layer. Observations were made of the north side of the 12-13th century St Mary's Gate; the stone foundations of a cellared building north of the gate probably include the medieval Precinct Wall.

The exposed masonry of Community House at ground floor level suggests that it was standing before Monument House was built. A truncated brick wall at ground and first floor level of Monument House, indicates that there were previous brick buildings on the site and suggests that there may be further pre-Georgian fabric encapsulated within the Georgian walls. The masonry culvert recorded is likely to be part of the monastic water system infrastructure, and may be medieval in origin. It is not clear whether this is the main Fulbrook Stream channel, its narrow width at 1m makes it more likely a small side channel adjacent to the main exit. The culvert appears to have been retained when Monument House was constructed in the mid 18th century.

Minor details of the construction and development of Monument House have been recorded during refurbishment, and add to our understanding of the building and its significance, as well as raising further questions about the development of this and adjoining buildings. The excavation of the courtyard area has added to the observations on the precinct water system, and shed further light on the often neglected back yard and drainage aspects of Georgian housing. Overall the results are of local significance, adding to the existing corpus of observations on the Cathedral precinct.