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57-65 Dale Street, Liverpool, Merseyside Watching Brief Report

Raynor, Caroline 57-65 Dale Street, Liverpool, Merseyside Watching Brief Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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A watching brief was undertaken by Oxford Archaeology North on the site of the former buildings at 57/59 Dale Street (Eagle Star House), 61/63 Dale Street, 65/67 Dale Street
(Pioneer Building) (Plate 1) and 10/12 Vernon Street, Liverpool, in preparation for the construction of a new hotel, associated retail and car parking (NGR SJ 34420 90640). The works were undertaken following the demolition of the buildings, but as these all had deep cellars there was little potential for the survival of buried archaeological remains. The principal area of investigation was an area of land, previously used as car parking for
10/12 Vernon Street, which had potential for the preservation of earlier surviving remains, specifically those that predate the realignment of Dale Street in the 1860s. As such, a watching brief was carried out within the areas to be affected by the ground works in order to examine any phases of construction within the site boundary which came to light as a result of the demolition works. The watching brief was undertaken in phases across five
closely located areas. All of the archaeological structures and deposits identified during the course of the watching brief were sealed beneath cobble-stone setts of the pre-Second World War alignment of Hale Street. This road, which was contemporary with the remodelling and realignment of Dale Street during the 1860s, indicating that all of the surviving deposits below it predate the major Victorian remodelling of the business district. A series of surfaces and brick foundations was identified which represent the remains of small warehouses and ancillary structures that were demolished in order to facilitate the expansion of Dale Street. This was done in order to create the broader Victorian thoroughfare which still remains today, with the majority of the buildings to the east of the Town Hall being constructed after 1860. The earliest archaeological feature was a truncated curvilinear ditch 013, in Area 2, which
was found to contain a dark organic material 014¸ and contained mid-eighteenth century pottery. The ditch was possibly a drainage or boundary and is all that remains of the early post-medieval landscape within this area of Dale Street as the rest of the development footprint had been truncated by extensive cellar construction undertaken after 1860. The most complete structure identified during the course of the excavation was a handmade brick-lined well shaft, with surrounding plinth and an intact domed brick
capping. The well was 25m deep and dry, and empty of backfill or detritus. Historic images, such as the view of Hale Street and Vernon Street from Cheapside (Plate
1), demonstrate the organic and cramped nature in which sheds, lean-to buildings and warehouses had developed within the study area along the northern side of Dale Street. Not
all of these structures would have had substantial foundations and it is likely that much of this earlier activity has been severely truncated and now only survives in ever decreasing pockets of ground between larger buildings and beneath earlier roadways and footpaths.

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: 23 Sep 2022 13:08
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 13:08
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6557

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