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Watching Brief

Date 1 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Event ID 1039700

Category Recording

Type Watching Brief


NT 25990 73360 A watching brief and standing building recording were undertaken, 1 January – 31 December 2017, as part of the phased refurbishment of the interior of the historic 18th-/19th–century Old College building. The work included the reduction of concrete floors in the basement and major excavations to allow the insertion of new lift shafts

and a large new stair.

Within the strip-out numerous uncovered details were noted, these largely consisted of blocked fireplaces/features and doors, most of which were visible on late 19th-century plans of the building. Details of some of the original 18th-century floor construction were exposed showing the main

floor joists to be a composite timber and cast iron truss system.

Within the excavations the sleeper walls and foundations of the original layout were exposed; these cut through earlier deposits and buildings relating to the early university. The foundations of the N wall of the 1782 chemistry building were partially exposed in the main trench and numerous

chemistry related apparatus and finds were recovered from demolition/in use dumping deposits relating to this.

Beneath the 1782 Chemistry Building the general ground sloped down steeply to the N and a deep build-up of midden/ soils were excavated and a large quantity of early ceramics recovered. A number of partially surviving early features were also excavated.

Archive: NRHE

Funder: University of Edinburgh

Kenneth Macfadyen – Addyman Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 18)

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