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Quartermaine, Jamie (2001) THE OLD DOCK, CHAVASSE PARK LIVERPOOL Evaluation Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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An archaeological evaluation was undertaken at the site of the Old Dock, Canning Place, Liverpool (centred at NGR SJ 3440 8995) (Figs 1 ands 2), by Lancaster University
Archaeological Unit (LUAU), between March and May 2001 on behalf of CPM Environmental Planning and Design and CGMS Consulting. The evaluation was required
to inform a planning application for a mixed development.
The Old Dock was the world's first commercial enclosed wet dock, which enabled the expansion of Liverpool as a port. It was constructed over a period of five years, being
completed in 1715. By 1826, it had fallen out of use and was infilled prior to the construction of the Customs House, between 1828 and 1837. This suffered severe bomb
damage during the Second World War, and was demolished shortly after. In the 1960s an office block was built on the site which was demolished in 1999.
It was agreed that nine 2m x 10m evaluation trenches be excavated to a depth of 2.4m, incorporating stepping for health and safety purposes. Given the large number of services on the eastern side of the site, however, some of the trenches had to be abandoned. Furthermore, the depth at which the sensitive archaeological deposits and structures was encountered was found to be deeper than expected. It was therefore necessary to excavate three trenches on the south side of the site to a maximum depth of 3m by effectively
widening the trench and adding a further step, in order to assess the archaeological deposits fully. Two trenches (Trenches 1 and 2) were re-excavated and linked to form a larger open area excavation (Trench 1/2b). Two other trenches (Trenches 3 and 5) were excavated on the north side of the site, across the pavement of the road, in the short gap between the services.
The initial phase of excavation revealed the remains of the dock in all the trenches, except for Trench 6 (the latter was excavated in the footprint of the Customs House, and only succeeded in uncovering rubble relating to the demolition of the building). The dock wall within the other trenches was essentially intact, except in the south-west corner (Trench 1/2b), where piling had destroyed sections of the wall, and in the north-east (Trench 5) where the face of the wall had been destroyed, probably during the construction of the Customs House. The dock consisted for the most part of a wall made of hand-made bricks in English bond (alternating courses of stretchers and headers), topped with a yellow sandstone coping. Despite the general consistency of construction, the wall demonstrated
different construction in each trench excavated, often in different combinations of sandstone walling and brick. Remains of the quayside were also encountered in two of the
trenches (Trench 4 and Trench 1/2b), consisting of large sandstone blocks laid directly upon the original silts of the former Pool upon which the dock was constructed. Wellpreserved timbers were encountered in both the Pool deposits and the deposits within the dock itself. The dock had been backfilled for the most part with a pink sand deposit. Upon completion of the first phase of work, two trenches were selected for deeper excavation, down to 5m in depth, to examine the profile of the dock wall, its construction and any backfill deposits or silts encountered within the dock itself. The excavation was undertaken primarily by machine in shallow spits under archaeological supervision. The first deeply-excavated trench, Trench 7, was excavated immediately west of Trench 4, on the south side of the dock to expose a further section of wall. On the north side, however, the presence of services meant that no new trenches could be excavated, and therefore Trench 3a was re-excavated beyond its original depth.

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: 17 Oct 2022 14:12
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 14:12
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6600

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