A civil engineering firm from Gloucester has started a new archaeological dig at the site of the £85 million city centre development, The Forum, hoping it will find further ‘archaeological treasures’.
Amelio Group is working in partnership with the city council to investigate the part of the site which was formerly Gloucester’s bus station and the Bruton Way multi-storey carpark.
Earlier excavations, led by Reef Group, uncovered the remains of the long-lost 13th century friary known as Whitefriars – which had links to Henry VIII’s wife, Queen Eleonor, and members of the Giffard and Berkeley families.
This new dig is part of a broader ‘enabling works’ contract Amelio was been awarded to prepare the ground ahead of the construction of The Forum – billed as Gloucester’s new digital quarter and a catalyst for the regeneration of the area formerly known as King’s Quarter.
Ciara Doherty, senior operations manager for Amelio Group, which has its UK head office at St James Trading Estate, Barton, said she hoped the dig would ‘reveal further archaeological treasures’.
Esther Croft, development director at Reef, said: ‘Working in partnership with the city council, our aim is to deliver The Forum with the least possible impact on any important archaeological artefacts, and share any findings with the people of Gloucester.
‘This intriguing site has already helped us better understand the wonderful and rich history of the city, and we can’t wait to see what these latest excavations unearth.’
Cllr Richard Cook, council leader, said: ‘It’s very exciting to take another step forward towards making The Forum a reality, as well as potentially revealing more about our city’s rich history. We look forward to sharing any future findings with the public.’
Amelio Group has already started and is expected to complete its work by the end of this year.
By Andrew Merrell