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Liverpool Canal Link, Liverpool, Merseyside. Archaeological Evaluation Report.

Hughes, Vix (2006) Liverpool Canal Link, Liverpool, Merseyside. Archaeological Evaluation Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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A programme of archaeological evaluation was required in advance of the construction of a proposed Pier Head Canal Link, within the city centre of Liverpool (centred at NGR SJ3386 9016), and were formulated to meet the requirements of the Merseyside Archaeologist. The Canal Link extends between Princes Dock and Canning Dock, and will allow for the passage of narrow boats between the end of the Leeds Liverpool canal, through a series of Liverpool Docks and leading ultimately to Albert Dock.

The work was commissioned by Fran Littlewood of British Waterways and facilitated by Galliford Try. The work was undertaken in July 2006 over a three week period by staff from OA North.

The city centre area of Liverpool is renowned for containing a very important assemblage of dockland, municipal, religious and associated sites. It is anticipated that the results of this archaeological investigation will inform a wider understanding of the area and contribute to a greater understanding of one of the most recent areas to be awarded World Heritage Site status. The proposed route of the Liverpool Canal Link has been assessed by Wardell Armstrong as having a moderate negative impact on the buried remains of a number of features including George’s Basin, Chester Basin and Manchester Dock.

The main aims of the work were to establish the presence or absence of archaeological remains within the area of the proposed canal link and to determine the extent, condition, nature, character, quality and date of any remains present. The evaluation, comprising seven trenches targeted for the most part on the dock walls, demonstrated that there are surviving remains of George's Basin, Manchester Dock and Chester Basin walls and the associated quayside at Chester Basin. The walls survived to varying heights with Manchester Dock walls being about 0.1m below the present ground surface; Chester Basin walls and quayside at about 1.05m below the present ground surface; and George’s Basin wall being between 1.3m and 1.96m below the present ground surface. Manchester Dock and Chester Basin were constructed of large pink sandstone blocks, well dressed and built in an ashlar manner. George’s Basin was constructed of yellow sandstone blocks and reflects the use of yellow sandstone in earlier constructions such as the Old Dock, St Thomas’ Church, the Second Customs House and the foundations of early buildings along Canning Place and South Castle Street. George’s Basin was built by 1771 while Manchester Dock and Chester were slightly later constructions (1785-95) and made use of the less brittle and more hard-wearing pink sandstone.

The evaluation also revealed the remains of later brick structures including the shed on the north side of Manchester Dock, probably built around 1875 when the Great Western Railway company utilised the dock. There were also the remains of an as yet unidentified brick structure in proximity to what was George's Basin.

Finally, there were also two substantial circular brick structures dating to the mid twentieth century uncovered in the area north of the Edward VII monument, in front of the Cunard building on the Pierhead. The more northerly of these was found approximately 1.5m below the present ground surface and the more southerly one between 1.4m and 1.6m below the present ground surface. The structures would appear to be air raid shelters constructed within the roundabouts which were used by an earlier established tram system.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Merseyside
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology North
Depositing User: hall
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2022 09:22
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 09:22
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6631

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