Archaeological monitoring of deep excavations for pile caps revealed a spread of dark soil, in most places in excess of 2m thickness. Only near to the Friars Street frontage could features be detected, including an east to west running ditch dated to the Late Saxon period. This was identified in an area of considerable disturbance caused by modern basements.
The dark soil spread contained finds evidence from the Middle Saxon to the early modern periods, although there appears to be less evidence for the medieval era. Abundant cattle bones and a pottery waster indicate possible industrial use of the site. Prestigious pottery dating from the 16th Century shows that high status dwellings might have been nearby. The dark soil could be an accumulated deposit of midden material over a long period, but the purposeful dumping of refuse and soil to build up the land surface and protect it from flooding might be a possibility. If this was the case, then the early post-medieval period might have been when this happened.