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Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire Archaeological Survey and Assessment Report

Druce, Denise and Guffogg, Karen and Plummer, Alison and Quartermaine, Jamie and Robson, Jane and Wild, Chris (1997) Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire Archaeological Survey and Assessment Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Lancaster University Archaeological Unit undertook a programme of archaeological work at Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire (SD 6236 3050), commissioned by RSCE Consulting Engineers on behalf of the Samlesbury Hall Trust. The archaeological investigation was undertaken as part of the Restoration and Development Project 2000 programme.
The archaeological work programme at Samlesbury Hall involved a number of elements including a desk-based assessment providing context for the archaeological surveys, a geophysical survey, evaluation trial trenching, landscape survey, and a watching brief conducted during investigations made for structural engineering purposes which exposed selected areas of the fabric of the building. This present report details the results of the assessment.
The geophysical survey was confined to the area of lawn in front of the Hall, and other areas were subjected to a rapid scan to determine their potential, but were found to be unsuitable for detailed magnetic or resistivity survey. The geophysical survey of the lawn area identified a large anomaly at the eastern edge of the lawn on the purported line of the moat, together with a number of linear anomalies of possible archaeological interest, to the west of the putative moat.
An evaluation trench was placed on the lawn area in order to investigate the anomalies highlighted by the geophysical survey. The position of the western moat edge, which had been revetted by a mortared sandstone wall, was confirmed. The full depth and width of the moat was not established, as the evaluation trench was limited by the safe working depth and by a road-way at its eastern end. The upper part of the moat had been backfilled with soil and rubble and was deliberately capped with a layer of clay. The line of the moat had been subsequently used as a road-way, then landscaped to produce the present arrangement. A number of linear features, identified to the west of the moat, consisted of a possible ditch or drain, the remains of a possible surface, a broad hollow which may have been a garden feature, and a tile land drain.
The evaluation identified the inner edge of the eastern arm of the moat, confirming the results of the geophysical survey which had recorded a large anomaly in this position. The moat arm lay approximately on the alignment depicted on the reconstruction plan made in 1925 (Eaton 1929) which placed the moat close to the eastern end of the south-west wing.
The landscape survey identified four sites, three in the immediate grounds of the Hall and one to the north. The largest feature, a sub-circular linear hollow, in part represents the moat, but is also thought to be the line of a driveway. A north/south aligned drain, running from beneath the entrance hall porch and an area of modern landscaping, was also identified. Finally, a mound almost certainly relating to the present buildings was recorded to the north of the modern archery area.
The watching brief of the intrusive works into the historic fabric exposed areas of the internal construction of the south-west wing relating to both the nineteenth and sixteenth century builds. No unexpected architectural features were revealed and these inspection holes served largely to expose faces of the timber wall posts previously hidden.
Below the modern kitchen evidence suggests the presence of an early cellar floor or drain, although this is tentative. An arched, brickwork sixteenth century drain was exposed in the north-east corner of the entrance hall.
Visual inspection of the roof timbers above the long gallery and chapel offer evidence for one continuous build of this roof, but also later modification. Visual inspection also revealed an unexpected, and as yet unexplained, linear junction in the sixteenth century brickwork of the Southworth wing.
Recommendations are offered for further archaeological evaluation in the form principally of a watching brief and fabric survey to take place in conjunction with proposed development works. It is also recommended that further investigations are undertaken to examine the development of the site.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Lancashire
Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2022 08:15
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 08:15
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6701

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