Bath is renowned for its archaeological sensitivity, as it overlies an ancient Roman City, causing various complications when planning construction works across the city. Preserving these archaeological finds was paramount to our works, as any undiscovered artefact is a piece of Britain’s rich industrial history and provides a glimpse of the evolution of industrial processes.
Sanctus were appointed by Deeley Freed to deliver a full enabling works package including demolition, remediation and foundation works at their site at Saw Close, Bath. Prior to works commencing it was known that the site was occupied by an existing clay pipe factory, where two kilns had been uncovered during initial site surveys. As a result of these finds Sanctus suggested a revision of the exploration works and a request for additional survey works to explore the uncovered structures to ensure the prevention of accidental damage to any potential archaeological finds.
After completing these surveys, Sanctus were able to outline appropriate interventions to preserve the precious archaeology correctly. These mitigations and changes to the programme were considered during the planning stages and therefore required no extra time or costs in order to deal with this scenario efficiently and effectively.
Sanctus protected the kiln ovens and outbuildings by using a hi-visibility membrane to cover the structures to allow for an overlay of clean pipe bedding stone, this methodology perfectly preserved the relic structures in situ, and allowed an ease of access for future archaeologists to discover if the proposed building is ever demolished.
Exploration works were conducted via a series of excavations undertaken alongside an archaeological watching brief provided by Cotswold Archaeology. As works continued to progress, both teams were able to work harmoniously into the demolition and façade support works of a listed building.
Sanctus conducted localised excavations to proof dig the new proposed foundation and drainage locations which were altered to protect the archaeological finds. These locations were moved to the outer boundary of the site. However, Sanctus had uncovered a Victorian cellar. These structures were infilled with injected ‘bacel hard foam’ to preserve and support the existing features.
As a result of our safe, sustainable and, most importantly, sensitive works key archaeological features and artefacts were recovered, preserved and protected for this and future generations whilst supporting a much-needed development key to Bath’s regeneration plans.