A glimpse of Preston past has come to light beneath the site of the city’s £700m future thanks to archaeologists investigating the Tithebarn regeneration. They have found medieval pottery and the remains of a mill and trenches have been dug to see how much hidden heritage the site contains.
Among highlights were the cellars of Lord Street cotton mill, pottery from the Middle Ages and brickwork in the Fish Market area, possibly built in the late 18th century.
Archaeologists will now keep a close eye on the development when Grosvenor and Lend Lease begin transforming the city.
County council planning officer (archaeology) Doug Muir said: “We will be insisting they go back to those areas, open them up to a greater extent and record what is there.
“There’s evidence of terraced housing but it’s what might lie beneath that terraced housing we’re interested in.”
In total, some 75 sites of “archaeological significance” were found on the 32 acre site. Of those 36 will be directly impacted by the proposed development, 27 sites will be potentially indirectly impacted and a dozen will not be affected.
Several were said to have “high cultural heritage value,” including the covered market, Golden Cross Hotel, the Old Dog Inn, Princes Buildings and the fish market.
English Heritage also believe Roman remains may be buried in the area proposed for the new bus station, on the corner of Church Street and Manchester Road.
A Roman road linking Lancaster and Wigan is thought to run under the existing station.