Rhodes Building, Oriel College, Oxford. Archaeological Watching Brief (OASIS ID: oxfordar1-347157)

Oxford Archaeology (South), 2019

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https://doi.org/10.5284/1052199
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Oxford Archaeology (South) (2019) Rhodes Building, Oriel College, Oxford. Archaeological Watching Brief (OASIS ID: oxfordar1-347157) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1052199

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Introduction

Rhodes Building, Oriel College, Oxford. Archaeological Watching Brief (OASIS ID: oxfordar1-347157)

Between March 2014 and January 2015, Oxford Archaeology undertook a watching brief during alterations to The Rhodes Building, Oriel College, Oxford. The watching brief was commissioned by Marcus Beale Architects Ltd and focused on the excavation of a new lift pit, a trench for the installation of a crane base and the excavation of new service trenching within The Rhodes Building and St Mary's Quad. The site lies on the High Street frontage of Oriel College, between Oriel Street and Magpie Lane and, prior to the construction of the Rhodes Building in 1909-1911, was occupied by a row of re-fronted tenements, with the Principal's Lodgings of 1833 projecting southward into what is now St Mary's Quad.

Two undated pits were revealed in the base of the lift pit trench, but the majority of the deposits and structures encountered during the works related to the early 20th century backfilling of cellars belonging to the buildings demolished in advance of the re-development of the High Street frontage. In particular, a light well in the south wall of a cellar in the crane base trench is clearly identifiable in a photograph of the Principal's Lodgings by Henry Taunt from the late 19th or early 20th century. The remaining deposits encountered related to landscaping within St Mary's Quad and are also likely to be contemporary with the construction of the Rhodes Building.