Shoppers pop in to see what lies beneath Clarendon centre at archaeology day

Owen Humphreys and Sophia and Maya Choudhury and David Washington

Owen Humphreys and Sophia and Maya Choudhury and David Washington Buy this photo

First published in News

WEEKEND shoppers explored Oxford’s hidden past at a dig under the town centre.

Managers of the Clarendon shopping centre who are planning a £6m revamp called in archaeologists after the discovery of the remains of a building from the 17th century.

Members of the public were invited to investigate for themselves on Saturday, and the Choudhury family from Woodstock went along. Sophia Choudhury, 12, said: “I had no idea what was underneath Oxford, it was very interesting.”

Excavators have dug through 17th century levels and are now reaching the Middle Ages.

Archaeologist Owen Humphreys said: “Hopefully after that we will find some medieval walls, we think we have already found a 14th century document pricker used for marking up parchment.

“It will be very interesting once we get down to the Saxon layers. Oxford was established as a Saxon settlement so there is a high probability we will find some remains.”

Once the excavation is finished, work will begin on expanding the Clarendon centre by 10 per cent, including the addition of fashion chain H&M.

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Comments (1)

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11:11pm Mon 6 Aug 12

caz1111 says...

What a pity this was for such a limited time, when I was unavailable. I once visited Monmouth when there was a similar opportunity to visit an archeological site but it lasted several days. I know they need to get on with the development but in Monmouth permission to build apparently includes the requirement to enable the public to view the "dig". Everything is also recorded for the future. Oxford must have a similar amount of history below the ground
What a pity this was for such a limited time, when I was unavailable. I once visited Monmouth when there was a similar opportunity to visit an archeological site but it lasted several days. I know they need to get on with the development but in Monmouth permission to build apparently includes the requirement to enable the public to view the "dig". Everything is also recorded for the future. Oxford must have a similar amount of history below the ground caz1111
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