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Bowring Park, Merseyside, Archaeological Watching Brief Report

Quartermaine, Jamie and Evans, Helen (2020) Bowring Park, Merseyside, Archaeological Watching Brief Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) was commissioned by WSP, on behalf of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (KMBC), to undertake an archaeological watching brief, monitoring building and groundworks undertaken during the HLF funded
redevelopment of Bowring Park, formerly known as Roby Hall Estate, at Roby, Merseyside. This work took place following an historic building survey of standing buildings and garden features undertaken by OA North in 2018. Planning permission for refurbishment of the buildings and gardens was conditional on archaeological monitoring taking place during construction works between April 2018 and May 2019. The majority of monitoring was specified by WSP as a response to the potential significance of the remains; however, the works to the building east of the walled garden was part of a condition imposed by KMBC.
Roby Hall was a Georgian mansion, demolished in 1950-51, leaving its former Coach House, Stables and Walled Garden extant. Map regression analysis undertaken as part of
the 2018 building survey illustrated the complexity of historic layouts of the remaining extant structures. Archaeological monitoring of works during the redevelopment of the site have largely provided additional detail pertaining to features identifiable in plan form on historic mapping and/or identified during the building survey.
In the north bay of the Stables, an eccentrically Constructed chimney stack was identified, which had been built to create a symmetrical roofline whilst maintaining an open space below, and perhaps a tack room where a warm environment was required. The southern element of the original symmetrical double-hipped roof was later lost when a simple ridge was added, probably when the loft above the stables in the central part of the building was
converted into two full floors. Although no archaeological monitoring took place within the roof of the southern arcade, it seems likely that the original building would have been symmetrical and there would have been a similar double-hipped roof at its south end.
In the south end of the Stables, a series of bricked-up arched fireplaces was identified, served by a chimney stack built against the western external wall, which blocked an earlier window pocket. The fireplaces may represent kitchens additional to those within the main house; a corridor and glass house are shown on the historic mapping. If not kitchens, then it is possible the flue and fireplaces were part of a laundry, or a heating system providing warmth to
garden buildings.
The results derived from archaeological monitoring of works undertaken within the Coach House were relatively limited. The test pits and internal ground reduction revealed the subsurface presence of walls identifiable on the historic mapping, and detail of former wagon doors. Externally, the identification of an underground cistern used for rainwater harvesting was also of interest, although not rare in nineteenth-century contexts.
Ground clearance within the Walled Garden and the Sunken Garden identified features present on the historic mapping: the demolished remains of a building partly overlying the
Ha-ha on the eastern edge of the site, which was to the east of the walled garden, a wall demolished to make way for the Sunken Garden, and an underground cistern. Within the
Sunken Garden, steps were revealed during ground clearance at the base of the flights already recorded by the building survey.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Merseyside
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2020 10:50
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2020 13:52
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/5799

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