Record Details

NHER Number:40890
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of 18th-century wall, Victorian cellars and World War Two air raid shelter

Summary

In 2004 archaeological work was undertaken at this site ahead of its proposed redevelopment. The building that occupied the site at this time was originally a Sunday School and had been built in 1862. A watching brief maintained during the excavation of geotechnical test pits recorded deep made ground deposits as well as the remains of a covered walkway and a possible cellar associated with the former Sunday School. A subsequently excavated trial trench revealed an extensive Victorian cellar that had probably been associated with the Congregational Chapel that formerly lay to the west (NHER 48929). It appeared that these cellars had been converted into air raid shelters during World War Two.
In 2015 a second watching brief monitored groundworks associated with the redevelopment of the site, this work taken place after the demolition of the Sunday School building. Although it had been suggested that a boundary wall to the rear of the Sunday School was potentially of 16th-century date, material recovered during its demolition suggested it was a much more recent structure that incorporated reused medieval building material. A presumably related perpendicular wall was also observed.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 22721 08326
Map Sheet:TG20NW
Parish:NORWICH, NORWICH, NORFOLK

Full description

October 2004. Watching Brief and Trial Trench.
Archaeological work undertaken ahead of proposed redevelopment of Studio Theatre site. The Studio Theatre building dated to 1862 and was originally a Sunday School. An initial watching brief monitored ten small hand-dug geotechnical test pits. This work demonstrated that fairly deep made ground deposits were present across much of the site. Structural remains observed included a possible cellar and covered walkway, both associated with the Sunday School building. It was also noted that an east-to-west aligned wall adjacent to the north elevation of the building incorporated small quantities of architectural stone that was presumably derived from the medieval hospital and college that once occupied this area. The watching brief revealed brick footings at the base of this wall that indicate that it was of post-medieval date, possibly built in the early 19th century.

A single trial trench was subsequently excavated in open ground immediately to the south-west of the Studio Theatre. This trench revealed part of an extensive Victorian cellar that was potentially associated with the Congregational Chapel that had previously stood to the west (NHER 48929). It appears that these cellars were converted to air raid shelters during World War Two.
See report (S1) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S2).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 30 January 2018.

2015. Building Survey.
Examination of the Studio Theatre building ahead of its proposed demolition.
It appears that a possible 16th-century date was suggested for the boundary wall to the rear of the building, although it should be noted that this was presumably the same wall that the earlier watching brief determined was most likely post-medieval.
Report awaited.
P. Watkins (HES), 30 January 2018.

October-December 2015. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of demolition of Studio Theatre and subsequent groundworks associated with the redevelopment of the site.
The demolition works provided an opportunity to examine the potentially early boundary wall that had lain to the north of the Studio Theatre. The fabric of the wall was a mix of brick, flint and slate, all bonded by lime mortar. The upper portion of the wall bore evidence for at least three episodes of building/repair, although in places the original fabric survived to a height of 2.70m. Material recovered during the demolition of the wall included two fragments of presumably medieval architectural stone, medieval ‘early bricks’, a medieval floor tile, post-medieval bricks and part of a post-medieval floor tile. Assuming it wasn’t a later insertion the post-medieval tile indicates that the wall cannot predate the 18th century. The subsequent excavation of a pipe trench exposed a short section of a perpendicular north-to-south aligned wall immediately to the south of the boundary wall. Although this wall incorporated medieval brick this material had clearly been reused. It is argued that the width of this second wall suggests that is was probably also a boundary wall, rather than part of a building.

Groundworks elsewhere on the site revealed no other archaeologically significant features, primarily disturbing the thick made ground deposits observed during the earlier work. A small number of post-medieval finds were recovered.
See report (S3) for further details.
The archive associated with this work has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.324).
P. Watkins (HES), 30 January 2018.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CELLAR (18th Century to 19th Century - 1800 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • CONGREGATIONAL CHAPEL (18th Century to 19th Century - 1800 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • (Former Type) SUNDAY SCHOOL (19th Century to Mid 20th Century - 1862 AD to 1950 AD?)
  • AIR RAID SHELTER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TAP (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BRICK (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Adams, D. 2004. An Archaeological Watching Bried anf Evaluation at the Studio Theatre Site Chantry Road, Norwich. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 1007.
<S2>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2005. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2004. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt IV pp 751-763. p 758.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Copsey, R. 2015. Former Chapel to the rear of the Theatre Royal, Chantry Road, Norwich. Archaeological Monitoring. NPS Archaeology. 2015/1234.

Related records

Mon 1308Parent of: Agricultural land (former Nestles site) (Monument)
Mon 505Parent of: Precinct of the College of St Mary in the Fields (Monument)
Site 729Parent of: Theatre Royal (Monument)

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