We have been carrying out an archaeological survey on Demant’s Cottage, a small outbuilding to the north of Tom Quad at Christ Church, Oxford.

Much of this work has involved recording the building itself as it has been refurbished (while retaining its historic features), but some excavation has been needed as well. Inside the cottage, we have found that part of its east wall lies on a very fine chamfered plinth (sloping base) of what appears to be an earlier (perhaps medieval) building.

This was a real surprise. We hope to discover more about this structure through documentary research. We have also found a wall and fine mortar floors of a building outside and to the east of the cottage. Pottery from the layer above the floor suggests that this building had gone out of use by the 12th century. A stone-lined cess pit or soakaway has also been found to the east of the medieval wall.


The chamfered plinth (left) under the east wall of Demant’s Cottage, September 2011.


Cathy excavating the medieval wall and mortar floor to the east of Demant’s Cottage, October 2011.


The stone-lined cess-pit or soakaway – note staining at the corner and base of the wall from a later drainpipe.