Historic walls found during sewer dig

The 18th century foundation walls, which have been recorded by archaeologists
The 18th century foundation walls, which have been recorded by archaeologists

Engineers have uncovered the foundation walls of 18th Century buildings as they carry out work to improve Lancaster’s sewers.

The foundations, along with the arched stone culvert of the old Lancaster mill race were recently revealed at the site of Damside Street bus station as the project progressed.

Fragments of pottery, including Roman Samian Ware and Delftware, alongside remains of food waste, have also been recovered.

The works on the bus station have been closely monitored by archaeologists due to the location of the mill race, with the current line of the street running adjacent to it.

Dawn Harrington, project manager for United Utilities, said: “UU is working closely with Lancashire County Council to ensure we protect any finds in our construction area, as it is part of the local area’s history. It’s fascinating to see what gets uncovered.”

Archaeologist Kevin Mounsey, said: “It’s nice to find some 18th Century pottery as what we usually find is Roman, 
Victorian or Mediaeval, so this is quite unusual.”

He added: “The Delftware is an interesting find too. Up until recently, we thought there was only a Delftware pottery in Bristol until we excavated one in Lancaster.

“A Delftware inkwell recently sold for over £12,000 because it was stamped ‘Lancaster’.”

The location of the foundation walls has been recorded and the pottery fragments are likely to be offered to the council.

The building that is now home to the Samaritans shop on Damside Street marks the position of a water-driven corn-grinding mill constructed in around 1574.

The mill race, believed to be of possible Roman construction when they occupied the city some 2,000 years ago, was an open stream until it was covered in the mid-18th Century when the city was expanded.