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3-5 Damside Street, Lancaster- Building Investigation

Elsworth, Dan (2003) 3-5 Damside Street, Lancaster- Building Investigation. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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An archaeological building investigation of numbers 3-5 Damside Street, Lancaster (SD 4778 6181), was undertaken by Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) in response to a request by Lancashire County Council Archaeology Sevice. This was due to a proposal to redevelop the building for residential use by Cable Street Developments. A Level II-type survey was carried out, which consisted of a physical inspection of the fabric combined with written and photographic records, as well as the production of plans of the principal floors and a cross section.
The site is situated on the edge of the medieval city of Lancaster, in an area that saw rapid and large-scale expansion during the mid-eighteenth century at which time Lancaster became one of the wealthiest sea-ports in England. It is not known when the site was first occupied but a building is shown in approximately the position of 3-5 Damside Street as early as 1610. This is unlikely to be the present structure however, as in 1778 there is nothing shown in this position at all.
The investigation of the structure revealed three main phases of development. The first of these related to its initial construction, when it comprised a simple square block with a roughly symmetrical plan with doors in the sides, and probably the front, and loading doors to the front and back. It may have acted as a small warehouse at this time, possibly divided between two owners, although part may have been used as a shop or for some other function. The second phase saw the addition of an outshut to the rear. This in turn led to a number of windows and doors going out of use and some internal rearrangement. The whole building may have belonged to a single owner at this time, and a large part of the ground floor would have been given over to use as a shop. The third phase consisted entirely of modern, and largely superficial, alterations. Stud walls were added to a number of rooms, dividing them up into smaller spaces, and new stairs were added. An additional attic space may also have been created at this time, and the building was used entirely as a shop.
3-5 Damside Street is an interesting property in the context of the development of this part of Lancaster being, as it is on the edge between the old town to the west and south and the new town of the eighteenth century to the north. It seems likely that it dates to the end of the eighteenth century or beginning of the nineteenth century, although this is not certain and some aspects of its appearance seem earlier. Certainly there is evidence for early activity in this area, and a collection of artefacts found on site uncovered by recent excavation range in date from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries.
It is recommended that a watching brief or evaluation should be undertaken in advance of redevelopment, depending on the extent of future ground work, but that there is no need for further examination of the building itself.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Lancashire
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology North
Depositing User: Users 15 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2015 11:45
Last Modified: 25 May 2023 08:58
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/2471

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