Archaeological excavations will be carried out in the courtyard of the Old Town Hall in Rauma from Monday 4 September as part of a restoration and new building project. The surveys are expected to be completed by the end of October.
Experimental surveys were carried out in the courtyard of the Town Hall from 29 May to 2 June to investigate the cultural layers in the courtyard. A report on the findings was drawn up and submitted to the Finnish Heritage Agency.
– The opinion of the Finnish Heritage Agency states that archaeological investigations should be carried out in the entire courtyard before the construction phase of the project. The courtyard of the Town Hall will be practically completely renovated and its functionality improved,” says Risto Kupari, Director of the Museum and Culture.
The future new building will cover a large area of the existing courtyard, and after its construction it will be impossible to survey the ground below.
– The courtyard will also be excavated for building services, which makes it clearer to survey the entire courtyard,” says architect Minna Linnala.
The archaeological excavations will be carried out under the supervision of Kari Uotila, PhD, of Muuritutkimus Oy.
More information about the well and the extent of the cobblestone is requested
Further investigations may provide additional information, including the plot layout and the buildings that were present on the site.
– At this stage, we know that there was a well in the backyard of the Town Hall. We look forward to seeing if its location is revealed in the excavations and what structures have been preserved. If there are enough intact remains of the well visible, it would be good to have it preserved and visible in the future,” says Risto Kupari.
A cobblestone was found in the courtyard during the trial excavations, and the aim is to restore it as a surface material for the courtyard, where appropriate.
– An archaeological excavation will determine the extent of the cobblestones and the stones will be recovered. For accessibility reasons, the entire courtyard cannot be covered with cobblestones, so the area will also be made more accessible,” says Mr Kupari.
The museum gardens will not be accessible during the actual excavations, but the interior of the Town Hall will normally be open to visitors.
– Visits to the excavation area can be arranged for local residents if necessary. Such group visits will be agreed and planned separately,” says Minna Linnala.
Project implementation planning phase is underway
The implementation planning phase of the project to restore and rebuild the Old Town Hall has started. Once the archaeological studies are completed, the City of Rauma will apply for a building permit for the new building, due to the building ban in Old Rauma.
– The application for a derogation is expected to be submitted in September-October, Linnala adds.
The actual restoration work on the Town Hall and the construction of the new building will start in autumn 2024. The new building will house, among other things, facilities requiring plumbing, such as a staff welfare and break room, a workroom, storage space and an accessible public toilet.