Excavations at King William Street, Exeter 1983 (Exeter archive site 77)

Exeter City Council, Cotswold Archaeology, 2015

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Exeter City Council, Cotswold Archaeology (2015) Excavations at King William Street, Exeter 1983 (Exeter archive site 77) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1035214

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Excavations at King William Street, Exeter 1983 (Exeter archive site 77)

In 1983, John Allan excavated three trenches in advance of a multi-storey car park extension on a site in the suburb of St Sidwell's, outside the east gate of the Roman and medieval town. The site lies to the north-west of St Sidwell's church on the steep upper slopes of the Longbrook valley.

The hillside below the old churchyard wall at King William Street was covered with garden soil, up to 0.5 metres deep which was removed by hand to expose the weathered Fermian subsoil. At a point where the slope starts to steepen markedly, a feature about 1.1 metres wide was located cutting across the line of the main excavation trench; this proved to be a trench 3.25 metres deep with sides sloping inwards to a narrow bottom lined with yellow clay.

The prediction made in 1931 for the line of the first aqueduct supplying water to the Cathedral Close seems to be confirmed by the excavation carried out at King William Street more than 50 years later. The deep trench which crosses the site certainly represents a medieval aqueduct.