Excavation at ABC Cinema, Exeter 1987 (Exeter archive site 90)

Exeter City Council, Cotswold Archaeology, 2015

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Exeter City Council, Cotswold Archaeology (2015) Excavation at ABC Cinema, Exeter 1987 (Exeter archive site 90) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1035227

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Excavation at ABC Cinema, Exeter 1987 (Exeter archive site 90)

Excavation of this site started in advance of redevelopment and took place between September 1987 and February 1988. The main objectives being to investigate the origins of the road system and early settlement outside the East Gate; the history and development of the medieval aqueducts known as the Underground Passages; and the Civil War defences which were probably laid our on similar lines to those outside the South Gate.

One or two Roman features were located but the earliest substantial remains date from the medieval period. The large Saxo-Norman ditch first discovered at Magdalen Street was again encountered here in a position which demonstrated that Longbrrok Street probably existed in the late Saxon period, though the straightness of the street may suggest that it could be Roman in origin.

The square in front of the cinema is crossed by the medieval Underground Passages. Further progress was made in elucidating their history as a result of the excavations.

One objective of the excavation was to examine the nature of Civil War defences outside the East Gate. A number of trenches of the type previously encountered outside the South Gate were found on the site as well as a defensive redoubt positioned across Longbrook Street so as to cut off the direct line of approach to the gate.