On Monday 18 May we were delighted to welcome some of our neighbours to the Archives to learn more about our plans for the “For the Record” project.
Visitors to this drop-in event had the chance to look at our plans for improving the existing facilities. The architect and project manager were on hand to discuss the ways in which we’ll keep disruption to a minimum while we build the exciting new Heritage Hub and specialist document storage areas. While members of the Archives staff explained what the new facilities themselves would offer the local community.
Our neighbours were also able to go ’behind-the-scenes’ in the Archives to see how we preserve and care for the documented history of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire so it will be safe for the future.
If you’ve read our previous blog post you’ll already know that our site just off Alvin Street in Kingsholm had a rich and varied history before Gloucestershire Record Office moved there in 1979. So we took advantage of the chance to share some of the information we’ve found about this with our neighbours with a display of maps and other material dating from the early 19th century. The Kingsholm Council School which opened here in 1926 was an important feature of life in this part of Gloucester for almost 50 years so we were pleased to include some of its records in our display.
Since the documents will only take you back so far, we’ve recently had a team of archaeologists digging trenches in our car park to see what else might be beneath our feet. So one of this team brought some of the items they’ve found to the event to show our neighbours.
Most of the material is Roman and includes a mixture of several different kinds of pottery, some animal bones and a couple of roof tiles, one from quite a substantial building. They’ve also found traces of a ditch which possibly marked the western edge of the Roman settlement and a metalled surface which might have been a road or perhaps just a yard. We’ll know more about all of this and its significance when we have the archaeologist’s report in a few weeks, so we’ll be able to tell you more then.
For details and project updates visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/fortherecord
Most of the project costs are being covered by grants and contributions from project partners. But we are seeking donations too. You can do this online at www.foga.org.uk.