Welcome to the Urban Archaeology blog. Chiz Harward provides a range of archaeological services including desk-based assessments, evaluations, excavations, watching briefs and post-excavation services, training and development work, and archaeological illustration. This weblog will carry news of projects as and when they happen as well as wider thoughts on archaeological issues, especially recording, stratigraphy and training.

Medieval water supply and Georgian townhouse at Gloucester Cathedral

Urban Archaeology has been working at Gloucester Cathedral over the last couple of years, both on Project Pilgrim and as part of ongoing repair and conservation work on the exterior of the Lady Chapel. Recently we’ve also been working a bit further from the main cathedral buildings in a quiet corner of the precinct and turned up a surprising survival of the monastic past. 
Monument House and St Mary’s Gate, looking east towards the precinct

Medieval floor tiles from Minchinhampton church

In 2017 Urban Archaeology excavated the Gloucestershire parish church of Holy Trinity Minchinhampton as part of a major re-ordering involving the installation of underfloor heating to tackle damp. The work on site is nearly all done (and looks fantastic), but the archaeological post-excavation work is just getting going.

Iron Age burials and medieval farm buildings at Horse and Groom Inn, Bourton on the Hill

Back in 2013 Urban Archaeology's Chiz Harward was seconded to LP Archaeology to excavate a site next to the award winning Horse and Groom Inn in Bourton on the Hill, in the heart of the Cotswolds. 

The site contained evidence for Iron Age occupation: with at least one probable roundhouse, whilst a pit contained the crouched burial of an adult male carbon dated to 235-87BC. Isotope analysis indicates he did not grow up locally, and may be from Scotland or the European Continent; intriguingly the isotope analysis also suggests a diet low in animal or marine protein. The skeleton of a baby was also found in the pit, with parts of two further baby skeletons found on the site.

The crouched Iron Age burial
The site also revealed the extensive remains of medieval farm buildings, probably related to extensive sheep farming. Documentary research by Professor Christopher Dyer shed further light on the history of the farm and the development of the area’s sheep farming industry.

Aerial view of the medival farm buildings

Reconstruction drawing of medival farm buildings

The site report will be published in this year’s Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society. Chiz Harward would like to thank the Greenstocks at Horse and Groom Inn for commissioning and supporting the excavations and everyone who worked on the site and post excavation work. 
Previous posts on the site:

Pencils and Pixels: Drawing and Digital Media in Archaeological Field Recording

Urban Archaeology's work at Gloucester Cathedral gets a name check in a new paper on archaeological recording in the digital age. Colleen Morgan and Holly Wright’s paper ‘Pencils and Pixels: Drawing and Digital Media in Archaeological Field Recording’ explores the history of archaeological field drawing, exploring how the process of looking and drawing contributes to archaeological understanding and interpretation. From this position of understanding they then consider whether digital (paperless) field recording and drawing can deliver the same benefits.

Digital elevation of Gloucester Cathedral Lady Chapel during repair work.