Up to six archaeologists a day have been working on the site for
several weeks in preparation for the main square improvement works,
which are being delivered by Opportunity Peterborough and
Peterborough City Council.
archaeologist Ben Robinson said: “The results so far are
outstanding. We expected to find archaeological remains in Cathedral
Square, but the range and quality of finds here is superb. The
archaeological team is tracing the previously unrecorded history of
Peterborough’s ancient market place – literally peeling back the
centuries to expose the surfaces and structures that would have been
familiar to medieval citizens’.
the modern pavement is a series of pitched limestone surfaces that
were the market place, streets and gutters of earlier times.
pottery, leather off-cuts, building materials, part of a bronze
cauldron and animal remains dating back hundreds of years have also
Cathedral Square improvement works to revitalise the heart of the
city centre started in February. The project includes demolishing
the Corn Exchange and creating a new square, dubbed St John’s
Square, as well as removing the planters, underground toilets and
road surface in Cathedral Square and replacing them with fountains
and seating areas.
excavations are being led by Steve Morris of Northamptonshire
Archaeology. Senior project officer Adam Yates said: “It’s not often
we get a chance to dig holes in the middle of town. Our finds are
significant in the development of Peterborough because there have
been very few excavations in the historic core. We are carefully
excavating and recording the remains that will be affected by the
Construction work in the Cathedral Square area is still aiming to be
complete by Christmas while work to create the new square will
continue until Easter 2010.
Bowyer, director of growth at Opportunity Peterborough, said: “The
project to improve Cathedral Square is a crucial investment for
revitalising the city centre and taking it forward to a brighter
future. The archaeology we have found has provided a great insight
into the city’s past that we would not have had without this
project. Wherever possible we will adjust designs to ensure that the
archaeology is protected as we deliver the scheme.”
surrounding the development will stay open throughout the
construction, which - when complete – aims to attract new businesses
to open and drive economic activity to the area.
April 2009 -
Peterborough UK Community Website