Frewin Development Update - 17th March 2022

It is the final week of archaeology at Frewin and Oxford Archaeology are due to leave site this weekend.decorated_Newbuty_ware_1050-1250AD_copy_copy.jpg

After archaeological excavation is complete there will be a large amount of the site (approx. 80%) where archaeological deposits will be left in situ and preserved below the basement floor of the new building. The majority of the features left in situ are pits, with the occassional well, and a cess pit, plus the 14th century basement  A full record of the archaeological horizon to be left in situ (using a combination of drone photogrammetry and hand-drawn scaled plans) will sit within the site archive.


The occassional flint artefact has been recovered, including a crude end-scraper (a utilitarian tool) and a very nice example of an Early Neolithic serrated blade tool. Indicates human activity at the site dating back 5,500 years - when societies were on the cusp of adopting agricultural subsitence lifestyles but still hunting and gathering.

Late Saxon 

More Late Saxon features are now being excavated. A very nice example of a crude ceramic loom weight was found- this would have been utilised as illustrated here .

The Norman Period mid11th - mid13th century

Features, mainly pits, but also a newly discovered stone-lined feature (possibly a well). Some really nice artefacts are being found adding to the picture of life of the high-status early residents who usedAntler_tools_-_worn_points_and_cut_ends.jpg the undercroft - these include a button made from deer antler, and a collection of raw antler - perhaps indicating a specific craft activity in this part of Oxford in the immediate post-Norman Conquest period.

The Lead Archeologist concluded that Frewin was a “fantastically rich and interesting site” to work on and thanked College for their funding, patience and interest in this unrepeatable and fascinating investigation.

[Photos of Decorated Newbuty ware 1050-1250AD & Antler tools]