|Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology||The Collections:|
@ the Ashmolean Museum
|•||Early Europe & Near East|
|•||Classical to Medieval|
|•||Europe from 1500|
|•||Oriental & Islamic|
|People and their collections|
|Rupert Bruce-Mitford: A Case Study|
|The New Bodleian Collection|
After graduating, he spent 1937-8 at the Ashmolean Museum.
During this time builders began to dig a "huge hole, lined with
interlocking sheet piles" at the junction of Broad Street and
Parks Road. This excavation was to provide the foundations and
basement of the New Bodleian Library, a major University development.
Bruce-Mitford organised one of England's first urban "rescue excavations" on this site. Houses and shops had been cleared at the corner of Broad Street and Parks Road for the new building at the very bottom edge of the photograph. The picture shows the site in relation to the pale copper roofs of the Bodleian Library with the Radcliffe Camera and University church in the background. The High Street at the top of the photograph runs east west, parallel with Broad Street.
The plan of the site is inverted to illustrate how the Broad Street frontage matches the houses visible at the bottom edge of the contemporary air photograph above. Each tenement had a well dug down through the gravel terrace to the level of the Oxford Clay. The well-bottoms all proved to have fillings of two or three feet of mud. The "mud cylinders were full of broken medieval pottery, handleless jugs, bowls, and odds and ends".
Aerial photograph of the heart of the University;
Broad street running east-west at the bottom of the picture (Allen collection)
General plan of the New Bodleian site showing the positions of wells and pits
|His early life||Rupert Bruce-Mitford||The recording of the site|
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last updated: jcm/20-mar-2000