Ancient medieval buildings found beneath Cathedral Square in Britain

April 29th, 2009 - 2:34 pm ICT by ANI  

London, April 29 (ANI): Archaeologists excavating beneath Cathedral Square in Peterborough, UK, have found the remains of ancient medieval buildings.

Up to six archaeologists a day have been working on the site for several weeks in preparation for the main square improvement works, which are being delivered by Opportunity Peterborough and Peterborough City Council.

One of the buildings, which probably stood until the 17th Century, may be part of the old Butter Cross - a building in the market place where butter, eggs and meat were sold.

According to city archaeologist Ben Robinson, “The results so far are outstanding. We expected to find archaeological remains in Cathedral Square, but the range and quality of finds here is superb.”

“The archaeological team is tracing the previously unrecorded history of Peterborough’s ancient market place - literally peeling back the centuries to expose the surfaces and structures that would have been familiar to medieval citizens,” he said.

Beneath the modern pavement is a series of pitched limestone surfaces that were the market place, streets and gutters of earlier times.

Pieces of pottery, leather off-cuts, building materials, part of a bronze cauldron and animal remains dating back hundreds of years have also been uncovered.

“It’s not often we get a chance to dig holes in the middle of town. Our finds are significant in the development of Peterborough because there have been very few excavations in the historic core. We are carefully excavating and recording the remains that will be affected by the development,” said senior project officer Adam Yates.

Construction work in the Cathedral Square area is still aiming to be complete by Christmas while work to create the new square will continue until Easter 2010.

According to Steve Bowyer, director of growth at Opportunity Peterborough, “The project to improve Cathedral Square is a crucial investment for revitalising the city centre and taking it forward to a brighter future.”

“The archaeology we have found has provided a great insight into the city’s past that we would not have had without this project. Wherever possible we will adjust designs to ensure that the archaeology is protected as we deliver the scheme,” he said. (ANI)

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