A couple more ‘discoveries’ from the excavations Cotswold Archaeology are carrying out in conjunction with Deeley Freed Estates – the developers of the Saw Close site – which will see the building of a casino, hotel and restaurants across from Bath’s Theatre Royal.
The regeneration will incorporate part of the facade of an old music hall theatre which ended its life as a bingo hall.
Archaeologists have been able to excavate the basements of houses that ran alongside Bridewell Lane – behind the theatre. Many of these were occupied by workers employed in the pipe factory nearby.
That was an area visited by many Bathonians during a special Open Day earlier this year. It’s now been ‘put to bed’ and carefully covered to protect it from the construction taking place above it.
Some of these houses date back to the 17th century and in one of them was found a large inglenook with the remains of a massive timber lintel. You can see the remains of the wood in situ and – in a separate image – the rest of the lintel – as extracted.
There is also more recent evidence of domestic life – a milk bottle from a local dairy – stamped ‘Bath CO-OP’.
Alongside is the overturned copper from a Victorian kitchen range, the lid of an early tin of Roses Chocolates and what could be part of a decorative frieze from the theatre – which had several internal style make-overs during its working life.
Plus – having gone deeper in one basement – part of a mosaic floor from Bath’s Roman period. No doubt more discoveries to come in the new year.