Clay pipes, casino and Saw Close dig.

The redevelopment of the Saw Close gets underway.

The redevelopment of the Saw Close gets underway.

I am pleased to hear that Cotswold Archaeology will be handling an archaeological dig in Bath’s Saw Close where work is getting underway to clear part of that space for a new casino, hotel and restaurants.

The organisation, with an office in nearby Cirencester, has already dug a couple of  trial trenches which revealed a sequence of Roman pits and floor surface – dating to the 3rd-4th centuries.

The old facade of the Palace Theatre - tucked away in the corner.

The old facade of the Palace Theatre – tucked away in the corner.

There’s evidence too for pit digging during the medieval period – along with the construction of stone-founded and probably timber-framed buildings which lay in the backlots of tenements fronting wither Westgate Street or Bridewell Lane.

Cotswold Archaeology say further ground raising in the post-medieval period was followed by the construction of cellared Georgian properties and a clay tobacco pipe factory – with kilns – on Bridewell Lane.

Once the Company starts digging in earnest they will want to assess what remains and how best to protect it for the future – including – maybe – recreating on the new surface the lay-out of some of the medieval dwellings discovered below.

Looks like their first archaeological work will be in the area of the former pipe factory.