OA Library

Goodhart Building, University College, Oxford Archaeological Watching Brief on engineering test pits (May 2013) Goodhart Building University College Oxford Excavation and watching brief report November 2016

OA, OA and Bashford, Robin Goodhart Building, University College, Oxford Archaeological Watching Brief on engineering test pits (May 2013) Goodhart Building University College Oxford Excavation and watching brief report November 2016. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

[thumbnail of OXUCGB13.pdf]

Download (1MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of OXUCG14.pdf]

Download (8MB) | Preview


Oxford Archaeology (OA) were commissioned by Dr Roland Harris to undertake an Archaeological
Watching Brief during the hand-excavation, by other parties, of two engineering test pits (Test Pits 1
and 2) that were required to investigate the nature of the foundations of the extant Goodhart
Building (1961-2), University College, Oxford.
The following presents a brief description and interpretation of the stratigraphic sequence revealed
during this Watching Brief

Between September 2014 and April 2015 Oxford Archaeology undertook a
programme of archaeological excavation and recording during renovations and
alterations to The Goodhart Building, University College, Oxford (centred on SP 518
062). The work was commissioned by Dr Roland Harris on behalf of University
College and followed on from a watching brief carried out during the excavation of
engineering test pits in May 2013.
The excavation areas comprised new strip foundation trenches on the site of the
recently demolished Goodhart Cottage (Area 1), and a new lift shaft within The
Goodhart Building itself (Area 2). Whilst the full archaeological sequence was
investigated within the lift shaft trench, the strip foundation trenches were only
excavated to the archaeologically arbitrary formation level for the new footings.
The earliest features encountered were within Area 2, and comprised two pits and a
roughly northeast-southwest aligned linear feature. The relationship between the
pits and the linear feature was uncertain, although the linear feature probably
truncated at least one of the pits. During excavations in advance of the construction
of the Goodhart Building in the 1960s, a possible property boundary between High
Street and Merton Street was revealed. This was thought to have originated in the
11th century and subsequently determined the alignment of Kybald Street, a
thoroughfare between High Street and Merton Street first created around 1130.
Pottery dating from between 1050 and 1250 was recovered from the linear feature
within the lift shaft, and it is thus possible that the feature either represents part of
the earlier property boundary, or is evidence for activity fronting onto Kybald Street.
It was also noted that this feature was on a similar alignment to two ditches
encountered during the 1960s excavations. These were interpreted as possible
Bronze Age ring ditches, but no dating evidence was recovered. Consequently, it is
possible that these three features may have represented different phases of the
same boundary, although the possibility that the ditches recorded during the earlier
works represent prehistoric features cannot be entirely discounted.
The linear feature had itself been truncated by a what appeared to be the north-west
corner of a limestone-built structure. This may relate to a structure fronting onto the
northern side of Kybald Street. Little evidence for the street itself was revealed, with
the exception of a flattish layer of uncut stone, possibly representing a surface,
which was overlain by a possible trample layer.
Other structures were encountered in Area 1. The phasing of these was largely
established by their relationship with a silty clay deposit, encountered throughout
the strip foundation trenches, and overlying the putative surface and the stone-built
structure within the lift shaft. This was interpreted as a garden soil, consistent with
maps showing this area as part of a garden or a vacant plot in the 16th and 17th
centuries, and it is possible that this transition occurred following the closure of the
eastern end of Kybald Street in 1447. The dating evidence from these deposits was
predominantly 15th-16th century.
A number of the stone walls in Area 1 appeared to be overlain by the garden soil,
and therefore seem likely to predate this suggested hiatus in occupation. It is
possible that the two phases of a roughly east-west aligned wall in the southern arm
of the trenches represented the rear boundary of properties fronting High Street and Kybald Street, as it roughly corresponds with the conjectured boundary between
these plots suggested by Salter in his Survey of Oxford. An east-west aligned stone
wall and a stone-lined pit lay to the north of this possible boundary and may
therefore be associated with properties fronting High Street. This would suggest that
the structure in Area 2 relates to a property fronting Kybald Street.
From at least the 16th century the High Street frontage was occupied by the Angel
Inn, and a 16th century pit which truncated the garden soils is likely to represent
activity to the rear of the property. A number of structures also appeared to truncate
the garden soil deposit(s). A stone-lined semi-circular structure produced artefacts
dating to 1740-1840 from its excavated upper fills, and this feature may have
represented the top of a well to the rear of the Angel which was backfilled in the
latter part of the 18th century. A stone and brick structure in the northern arm of the
trench almost certainly relates to a 19th-century cellar to the rear of the Angel

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2021 10:13
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2022 16:46
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6166

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item