2013 (a) – Car Park
After being in use for some 60-odd years as a ‘temporary’ car park, the decision was made for it to become permanent, with a hard surface and ticket machines. The area had never been examined for archaeology but had been considered as a likely place for remains due to its close proximity to High Street and Bridge Street.
An archaeological ‘watch’ was organised to keep an eye on the trenches to be dug for machines and lighting cables, and in pits dug for trees, but no extension of these were allowed, and thus they were narrow and shallow.
At least four walls were found but due to the terms set by English Heritage no further expansion of the investigation was allowed so the channels were filled, and the new car park surface covered known but unexplored archaeology. A great opportunity missed.
The Archaeology Warwickshire Report No 1417 February 2014 concluded:
“In 2013 Abbey Fields car park, Kenilworth, was upgraded and groundworks monitored for archaeological features and finds. A number of stone walls and areas of demolition debris were noted, presumably associated with former Abbey buildings, although largely outside of the area previously thought to have been occupied by monastic buildings. Finds included
pottery and glazed floor tiles of medieval date, numerous fragments of hand-made roof tile and the base of a 15th/16th-century German stoneware vessel.”
The full report can be read here: ABBEY FIELDS CAR PARK Archaeology report