Chapel Court, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge: An Archaeological Investigation

Change log
Newman, Richard 

An archaeological investigation was undertaken between July and August 2012 during refurbishment works conducted at Chapel Court, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. Three trenches were excavated at this time, two of which comprised tree-planting pits whilst the third connected the preceding areas in order to allow the instillation of a below-ground hydration system. The earliest deposit to be encountered at the site consisted of a 14th century garden-soil layer. During the 15th century, this was succeeded by two long-lived, multi-phased ancillary buildings with associated yard surfaces. In Trench 1, the building sequence was terminated during the late 16th or early 17th century when a substantial boundary wall, which demarcated the limit of the contemporary college precinct, was constructed. This wall then itself went out of use during the late 17th century when the nearby college chapel was constructed. By the time work on this new building was completed, in 1704, the surrounding ground surface had been substantially raised - thereby sealing the earlier deposits - and the archaeological sequence effectively became 'capped'. In Trench 2, a very similar sequence was encountered. In this location, however, the initial 15th century structure appears to have survived in use, with many phases of alteration and rebuilding, until 1966, when Chapel Court itself was constructed.

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