Thursday, 14 May 2015

A Guide to Lich St (South)

We continue the tour from the guide to the north side, turning to look at the south side. Just to the left off the site, where the road is, stood St Michael's Church. This was built in 1840 to replace the medieval church next to the Cathedral, and fronted onto College St with a yard and low wall at the rear. Although this is outside the dig area we did find some damaged masonry from the demolition of St Michael's, as mentioned in a previous blog post.

Going away further from the dig site there was a house next to St Michael's, and then the Lich Gate, under Knight Frank estate agents, which led into the Cathedral Precincts, and also the Punch Bowl Inn.

No.6 Lich St
In the excavation area itself the first property is No.6. This is lined with well finished sandstone and is very different to the other cellars. Medieval tool marks have been identified, along with post medieval, so these stones appear to have been reworked and brought here. It is possible that this stone was obtained from the city wall when much of it was dismantled after the Battle of Worcester, or perhaps the Monastery on the south side of the Cathedral. A piece of ecclesiastical masonry that is probably from a window frame has also been incorporated into the cellar wall which stands out. Although this building was not connected with the one to the east (St Michael's) there appears to be some link in the cellar wall, but we don't know why.
In 1910 it was occupied by a wood turner.

No.4 Lich St
This was part of the City Vaccination Office c1900, along with No.2, although they were separate buildings.

No.2 Lich St
Behind the cellar is a small yard area, which would have between No.2 and the building behind which fronted College St. The yard contains the base of a water pipe, and two square out buildings. One would probably be a toilet, and we see a waste pipe going from this property to the sewers which ran along Lich St (see previous post on sewers).
The yard has no cellar below it, and it is here that burials from the medieval cemetery which was on this site still remain. The current development should not impact upon the depth at which these burials occur, so we do not need to disturb the burials and they will be left alone and protected.
In this area there is also a foundation layer of green sandstone (under a couple of courses of red sandstone and an outbuilding) in amongst which we discovered 13th century pottery. This side of Lich St was laid out in the 13th century so perhaps this could relate to the buildings that were put up as part of this development. These would probably have been sandstone base, timber frame and bricks, but not much remains.

Cellar of No.2 Lich St, with yard behind

13th century remains (green sandstone) at the base of the second wall back

No.1 & 2 College St
This property fronted onto College St, but like No.1 High St it came back into Lich St. Although the 1886 Ordnance Survey map shows two buildings, the cellar appears to have been one large cellar, which was later divided up. No.1 was The Cathedral Tea & Coffee Warehouse c1910, run by Albert Mainwaring, who also had grocery stores at No.1 & 5 Lich St. Next door was the Cathedral Restaurant.

The building work we can see in the cellar is of a poor quality; for instance the fireplace isn't even keyed into the wall, and probably related to the later phases when little money was being spent and everything was as cheap as possible.

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