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CANNING DOCK, LIVERPOOL, Phase 2 Archaeological Evaluation

Gajos, Hannah (2005) CANNING DOCK, LIVERPOOL, Phase 2 Archaeological Evaluation. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Merseytravel propose to construct a Merseytram route between Liverpool City Centre and Kirkby. The proposed route runs along the eastern side of Canning Dock, Liverpool, at SJ 343 901, which lies within the extent of the Liverpool Docks World Heritage Site, and potentially in the area of a former entrance basin extending into the Old Dock from Canning Dock.
A programme of archaeological watching brief and trial trenching was carried out by Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) in 2004 which revealed a north/south aligned
sandstone wall, which may have been connected with the draining and infilling of the Old Dock in 1826 prior to the construction of the New Customs House. Consequently, the
Merseyside Archaeological Officer (AO) recommended that further evaluation be undertaken to continue to investigate the impact of the proposed development.
Environmental Resources Management Ltd (ERM), acting for Merseytravel commissioned OA North to carry out the work. This phase of work was undertaken between February and April 2005. Five trenches were examined as part of this stage of the tram works. Four were evaluation trenches (Trenches 137-141), located close to the two trenches excavated in the earlier phase of evaluation, and one trench was undertaken as a watching brief (Trench 142). The results from Trench 142 uncovered the back of the Canning Dock wall and revealed
that in this area it had been built in two phases. The earliest phase to the north, 2325, was probably part of the original construction of Canning Dock at about 1740. When this dock was built it incorporated the north-east wall of the octagonal entrance basin of the Old Dock and replaced the oval graving dock that ran north from the entrance basin (cf Chadwick’s map of 1725). It was later altered to its present configuration when the entrance to the Old Dock was blocked in c 1826; it is thought that the later southern
element of Canning Dock wall seen in Trench 142, 2317, relates to this phase of alteration.
When the Old Dock became too small, partly through becoming silted up and partly due to the increase in the size of ships, the entrance was blocked and the Old Dock drained in
order that the New Customs House could be built. The substantial wall found in the earlier evaluation Trenches 1803b and 126 (1213 and 1222) was thought to relate to this
activity. The wall was seen to continue north into Trench 139 and south into Trench 139 (1279 and 1254). Correlation with the historic mapping strongly suggests that its purpose
was to act as blocking for the entrance to the Old Dock. The reuse of stonework from previous dock walling suggests that the wall was not intended to be seen, and could have
been in some manner temporary. There was clear evidence of the wall having been partially robbed at the northern end (Trench 139) which was consistent with the robbing
seen earlier in Trench 126. The large displaced sandstone blocks, crushed sandstone and brick located in Trenches 140 and 141 within deposits 1287 and 2310 suggest the
Canning Dock, Liverpool: Evaluation Report - Phase 2 5
For the use of ERM OA North May 2005 probable continuation of the blocking wall to the north, which has been largely robbed out.
A further wall 1234 in Trench 137 clearly pre-dated 1233, the second phase of Canning Dock wall constructed at about 1826. It may also have been associated with the blocking
of the Old Dock entrance but, unfortunately, it was not possible to connect this feature with the north/south oriented blocking wall seen in Trenches 138, 126, 1803b, and 139, owing to the presence of several substantial modern services.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Merseyside
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology North
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2022 14:30
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2022 14:30
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6539

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