Dig It

Today started off with a visit to an archaeological dig in Salford - an open day was being held to let members of the public see what is going on.

Adjacent to the River Irwell, was opened in 1790 the New Bailey prison. It was a “Reform” Prison, much better standards than others and with rehabilitation as part of its ethos. But this was rehabilitation in the late 18th and early 19th century sense. It included a treadmill as punishment, and children as young as 12 were incarcerated (for stealing fruit, for example). And as can be seen here, the cells were not exactly spacious (don’t even think of lying down).

Those locked up fell into 3 categories - “felons”, those who had committed “misdemeanours”, and vagrants.

The archaeological investigation is a requirement of the planning permission. Which is for an office building for HMRC. I think it’s going to be a striking building - clad in brick, but in quite an unusual basket weave pattern. The extra shows a model of the development, with some of the Bowmer and Kirkland team who will be undertaking the work, as well as Salford’s City Mayor Paul Dennett.

We spent the rest of the day on the other side of the Irwell. I am astonished at how popular the Christmas markets are. I still think it’s all too early, but recognise I have Canute like tendencies. The Christmas tide just cannot be held back.

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