Neston Archaelogy

In March 2009 archaelogists began to dig up 17th century relics and sandstone structures that have
been buried in Neston town centre for hundreds of years.  The excavation carried out in Brook Street,
by AOC Archaeology Group, began over a month ago after planning permission was granted to build a
Sainsbury's store and underground car park on the site.

Before the development could begin Mark Leah, development control archaeologist for Cheshire West
and Chester Council decided archaeological work needed to be done because of the sensitivity of the
site.  Neston is mentioned in the Domesday Book and has always been an important town for
archaeologists.  Anglo-Saxon stones that show what are thought to be Scandinavian angels were
found and restored in the town in the 19th century.

So far pottery, yards, stone footings, a typical post-medieval quarry, sandstone structures and cobbles,
all from the 17th to the 19th century, have been uncovered.  But most exciting of all is the discovery of
some kind of farmhouse structure, which can be seen on an estate map produced in 1732.

Mark said:
“This farmhouse structure could have been standing for hundreds of years before the map was
produced and that is very exciting.  Further investigation will show us how old it is.  Bringing the archaeology
and mapping evidence together is a fascinating thing.  The majority of the pottery found has come from local
manufacturers but because of Neston’s continental connections we have also uncovered some more exotic
pottery.  We’ve never really seen anything this early in Neston because we’ve never had the opportunity to
open up an area as big as this before. “It’s only when we open up an area, we can really begin to understand
what’s going on.  All this will be destroyed by the big base car park so if we didn’t excavate history like this
would be lost.”

Project supervisor Paul Harris said: “It’s surprising how much interest we’ve had in this dig from the
public.  This has given us a great opportunity to show people their town’s history.”
Left: The exposed Farm
House Floor and cobbles
Left: The exposed Farm
House Floor
Left: The exposed Farm
House Floor
Left: The exposed Farm
House Floor
Left: Evidence of wall and
cobbling dating back to
Above: A 17th century key
found during the excavations
Above: A decorative find