Digging up Bath’s past.

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.


Here’s the inglenook with just a small piece of timber still in place at the top right-hand corner!


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.


Here’s the rest of that lintel – as extracted.


There is also more recent evidence of domestic life – a milk bottle from a local  dairy –  stamped ‘Bath CO-OP’.


The milk bottle from the local 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.


The Roman mosaic floor.