West Street, Old Market, Part 2

Two evaluation trenches were excavated during November at the rear of properties on West Street, Old Market. The first trench, at no 51A, found very little as 20th-century landscaping had altered the area, though 18th-century rubbish pits survived under about a metre of modern rubble. The second trench, at no 57, contained drains and rubbish pits that produced large quantities of pottery, animal bone and clay pipe. Across the middle of the trench was a stone wall, shown to continue down for over a metre below the modern ground level. Some of the rubbish deposits that had built up against the wall contained pottery dating to the late 17th century, suggesting that the wall is of a similar date.

archaeological trench dug in west street, bristol

Excavated section alongside stone wall.

A plan of Bristol drawn in 1673 by Jacobus Millerd shows a wall in the right position, relative to West Street, to be the excavated wall. If this is the case, it forms part of the redevelopment of the area after the Civil War. Although there would probably have been occupation along West Street by the time of the Civil War, it is likely that buildings would have been destroyed to prevent them being used by a besieging army. The area was gradually rebuilt after the conflict.

section of millerd’s map showing excavation site

Part of Millerd’s map of 1673; the section of wall which corresponds to the one found in the trench is coloured red.

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