E-monograph Series. No. 26

Archaeological Investigations at the Upper Chapel, Norfolk Street, Sheffield, UK

Katherine Baker, Steve Baker1 and James Symonds2

With contributions from C.G. Cumberpatch, Linzi Harvey, Peter Marshall, Roderick Mackenzie, Ellen Simmons, Diana Mahoney Swales, Ian Tyers, Sarah Viner, Alan Vince and Susie White.

1. Historic Environment Record officer, Derbyshire County Council. Email: steve.baker@derbyshire.gov.uk
2. YAT Fellow in Historical Archaeology, Dept. Archaeology, University of York. Email: james.symonds@york.ac.uk

Cite this as: Baker, K., Baker, S. and Symonds, J. 2011 Archaeological Investigations at the Upper Chapel, Norfolk Street, Sheffield, UK, Internet Archaeology 29. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.29.4


Sheffield, in the north of England, grew rapidly in the 19th century and gained an international reputation for its cutlery, tableware, and steel products. The material legacy of this age of industrialisation is extensive, and archaeological work in the modern city over the last 20 years has, for the most part, focused on the above and below ground industrial archaeology relating to metals trades' production sites spanning the 19th and 20th centuries.

This article describes recent archaeological work around the Upper Chapel, a Unitarian Meeting House in the city centre where archaeological work recovered a possible buried medieval soil deposit, which contained an assemblage of medieval pottery dating from the 12th to 15th centuries. The presence of waster sherds and fragments of kiln furniture within this assemblage suggests that pottery production may have taken place on or near the site, making this the first putative evidence for pottery production in medieval Sheffield.

The archaeological investigations also recovered four human burials from the 18th- to 19th-century burial ground associated with the Upper Chapel. The Upper Chapel burial ground differs from other recently excavated cemeteries in Sheffield as it potentially contained graves of high-status individuals, with at least a proportion of the skeletons and coffins well-preserved owing to waterlogged ground conditions. Detailed studies of the human remains, coffins, and incorporated material, including brass shroud pins are also discussed.


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