The excavation continues, and things are progressing steadily on the site. On Ludgate Hill (Plot 5), the first half of the excavation has been backfilled and work is underway to excavate the second half. This should reveal a continuation of the ‘Back of Old Mount St’ cobbles and the properties that bordered them.
Down on Mincing St (Plot 3), the team are busy manually cleaning the various cellars and pavements that have unearthed, along with an almost complete section of ‘Holden St’ (see the previous blog post). Unfortunately, Plot 3 seems to be the most impacted by modern disturbance, particularly on the western side of the site where the archaeology has been damaged if not removed entirely. Despite this, Oxford Archaeology has made great progress with the cellars of the ‘Derby Arms’ pub in the southwest corner of the plot, where they seem to have uncovered a lot of evidence for reshaping and remodelling with plenty of mismatched brickwork indicating where rooms have been altered from their original layout.
Unfortunately, there has not been hoards of bottles and barrels that the team were hoping for (nor a scuttler in sight), but a few interesting finds have turned up. These finds include; advertising signs for cocoa and an aniline dye manufacturer, a mixture of different bottles and vials possibly relating to medicine, shoes, and part of what may be a pram frame. These finds are true parts of history and have really spurred the team despite the sudden downpours and gloomy skies as the weather has taken a turn from when the dig began.
The Oxford Archaeology team have worked really hard in some tough weather conditions, but their enthusiasm and dedication has not once faltered. The team will be recording the findings and will be moving onto the next plots in the next week or so where they hope to unearth more parts of Manchester’s historic ruins
Safer Sphere is acting as Principal Designer Advisor and CDM Client Advisor for the Angel Meadows development.