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Soho Loop, Dudley Road, Birmingham

Champness, Carl and Carne, John and Gill, Jonathan Soho Loop, Dudley Road, Birmingham. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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In May 2020 Oxford Archaeology was commissioned by the RPS Group, on
behalf of Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital, to undertake a trial-trench
evaluation and building recording survey at the site of a proposed mixed
residential development at Soho Loop, Dudley Road, Birmingham. The
evaluation consisted of 5 trenches that were targeted on the outline of two
industrial factories that were present on the site in the late 18th-20th
An earlier desk-based assessment (Driver 2005) identified the archaeological
potential of the site which contained a late 18th to 19th century glassworks
(Park Glassworks) and 19th century German silver works (Baker and Allen). A
previous evaluation (AJ Archaeology 2018) at the site identified the buried
remains of both factories, along with the surviving roadside façade associated
with the Baker and Allen factory. This second phase of evaluation was
designed to characterise and define areas of archaeological remains
associated with the earlier glasshouse, to help develop a mitigation strategy
for the site.
The evaluation demonstrated that below-ground structural remains and
deposits associated with the glassworks have survived later disturbance.
Towards the west of the glassworks, trenching identified up to 0.5m of
stratified deposits, together with several building phases, including walls and
floor surfaces within Trench 2. The glassmaking remains in other parts of the
complex were less well preserved but were found still to survive underneath
the floors of the silver works.
Other remains identified by the trenching comprised brick and iron floors,
brick walls and furnace remains of the German Silver Works, which were
demolished to floor slab level in the 1970s. Trench 1 also revealed the remains
of housing and a potential Public House on the west side of Heath Street
mapped on Pigott Smith’s mid-19th century map of the glassworks. Structures
within Trench 3 as well as the concrete floor 511 in Trench 5, are likely to be
remnants of the early to mid-20th century Birmingham Tube Works and
Rolling Mills, located just to the south of the silver works.
The façade which survives from the Barker and Allen works is good example
of a very late 19th century factory, with its elaborate brick and terracotta
detailing. This frontage reflects a period when considerable pride and
importance were placed on the building’s architecture, to convey its
prominent commercial status.
The results of the evaluation complement the documentary evidence which
shows that the site has been historically used for both glass and silver
production. Based on these results, the site is considered to have high
potential to preserve the remains of one of the earliest Glasshouses in the city.
The site has considerable potential to significantly contribute to our understanding of both early glass production and the development of this
industry within Birmingham

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Period > UK Periods > Modern 1901 - present
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Geographical Areas > English Counties > West Midlands
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 06 May 2021 13:28
Last Modified: 06 May 2021 13:28
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/5992

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