Assessing the Impact of Trench Arch Drainage Systems on Archaeological Remains in Churchyards

Author(s): Louise Loe, Lauren McIntyre

Trench arch drainage systems have been used in rural churches as a possible solution for churches wishing to install lavatory and kitchen facilities where suitable mains drainage does not exist. This desk-based study project explores the degree to which these systems may pose risks to buried archaeological remains in churchyards. The report provides an estimate of the number of these systems installed in churches and reviews the potential risks posed to buried ecclesiastical structures, human remains and other funerary archaeological evidence. It makes suggestions about how currently unknown risks can be reduced (for example relating to the use of particular cleaning products, and siting of these system), and proposes further research to help minimise these risks in the future. A forward to the report summarises current Historic England recommendations on the installation of new trench arch drainage systems. Historic England commissioned Oxford Archaeology South to carry out this research.

Report Number:
Human Remains Burial Cemetery


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