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Morton Park, Darlington, County Durham Archaeological Evaluation Report

Morgan, Stephen (2022) Morton Park, Darlington, County Durham Archaeological Evaluation Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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In June 2022, Oxford Archaeology (OA) North were commissioned by RPS to undertake an archaeological trial trench evaluation of a proposed distribution development site on land at Morton Park, Darlington, County Durham (NGR:
NZ 32415 14402). The work was undertaken to inform the local planning authority in advance of determination of a planning application.
Initial discussions between the client, RPS, and the Principal Archaeologist for Durham County Council (DCC) identified that a geophysical survey of the site should be undertaken. However, following a site visit from the geophysical survey contractor it was identified that the site was not suitable for survey. As such, the recommendation was made that the results of the ground
investigation works were reviewed, which identified that much of the site had been heavily truncated. It was then agreed that a programme of archaeological trial trench evaluation would be undertaken to confirm the level of the truncation across the site. OA North were subsequently
commissioned to produce a written scheme of investigation and undertake the necessary fieldwork, which was carried out over three days, between 27th and 29th June 2022.
A total of nine trenches was excavated, although one was aborted shortly after commencing excavation with the agreement of the Principal Archaeologist for DCC as there was sufficient evidence of the level of truncation. Two of the trenches were shortened due to the presence of a tree and a public right of way, whilst another was repositioned to avoid an area in which orchids were growing.
Only one possible archaeological feature was uncovered, ditch 502 in Trench 5. The majority of the site had been heavily truncated with only a thin layer of subsoil surviving in the southern part of the site and field drains surviving in the north-eastern part of the site. The western part of the site was completely truncated, with the modern surface being considerably lower than even the eastern part of the site. This suggests that the whole site had likely been stripped of its original topsoil and much of the subsoil, with the natural geology having been removed in the western part of the site. Due to the level of truncation the site is of very low, if not nil, significance. The Principal
Archaeologist for DCC confirmed on site, during the site meeting on 28th June 2022, that there would be no requirement for further archaeological work.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Durham
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology North
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2022 08:45
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2022 08:45
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6801

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