Building recording at the former Police Building and Magistrates Courts, Civic Centre, Southampton (SOU1543)

Bob Davis, Grace Flood, Linda Coleman, 2020

Data copyright © Wessex Archaeology unless otherwise stated

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Bob Davis, Grace Flood, Linda Coleman (2020) Building recording at the former Police Building and Magistrates Courts, Civic Centre, Southampton (SOU1543) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1075319

Introduction

Building recording at the former Police Building and Magistrates Courts, Civic Centre, Southampton (SOU1543)

Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by Kier Southern to carry out a programme of historic building recording during re-development works at Southampton Civic Centre. The works focused on the conversion of the former Police Building and Magistrates Courts into the city’s Heritage Centre and new Sea City Museum.

The former Police Building and Magistrates Courts form the westernmost of four interlinked contemporary buildings which together comprise the Southampton Civic Centre, on Civic Centre Road, Southampton. The buildings are listed, Grade II*.

The building recording was undertaken during the period from October 2010 to October 2011. A combination of research in the Southampton City Archives and site survey has shown that a dynamic design process continued until the last moment before the building was opened in 1933. The most significant findings concern the east side of the lower ground floor. Early plans were found which included original design drawings for integrated stables within the lower ground floor cell complex. This was subsequently changed to the present as-built arrangement of separate stable block and court room above.

The building recording was carried out in two phases, the first was a record of the building prior to site works commencing and the second was carried out as a watching brief during development works. Records were made of significant areas due for alteration mainly centred within the two principal court rooms 1 and 3. This included a full photographic database record of all parts of the building and drawn records of court room 3. A laser scan of the effected exterior and interior was also made. Window types were also part of the detailed study. The watching brief recorded the front main steps prior to their removal and various interventions were monitored to assess and record the original built fabric.


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