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Abingdon School Austin House

Howsam, Charlotte Abingdon School Austin House. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Oxford Archaeology carried out an archaeological excavation in February 2022 at the site of a proposed new extension to Austin House, Abingdon School, Oxfordshire. Preceding trial-trench evaluation in 2019 established the presence of medieval and post-medieval remains, comprising ditches and pits. The excavated area, totalling c 0.07ha, was subsequently targeted upon these remains in the centre of the development site.

The majority of features encountered on site dated to the medieval and post-medieval periods, with only small quantities of residual Roman and late Saxon pottery suggestive of occupation in the wider landscape during these periods. Evidence of medieval activity comprised a group of ditches, suggesting a rectilinear arrangement of enclosures or fields, and a small number of pits alongside indicating associated activity. The pottery assemblage demonstrates that medieval activity was confined to the period c 1050–1250 and the inter-cutting nature of the ditches indicate activity was not limited to a single phase. Together with the finds and environmental remains, it is probable that the medieval features represent small-scale occupation and agricultural activity on the west side of Bath Street at the edge of the medieval town of Abingdon.

The pottery and clay tobacco pipe assemblages suggest there was a hiatus in activity on site between the later 13th century and the mid–late 17th century. The post-medieval features recorded during the excavation appear to have been 18th- to 19th-century in date and predominately related to quarrying and subsequent waste disposal. These quarries may have been related to the construction of Waste Court (now Austin House) itself, as they mostly predated the construction of Abingdon School in the later 19th century. A possible garden feature and levelling deposit were also identified.

A small number of features, including a group of five postholes suggestive of a rectangular structure, remain undated, though the latter probably related to the medieval phase of activity.

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: 27 Sep 2022 08:18
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 11:57
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6565

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