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Exeter cathedral archaeology.jpg
Exeter Cathedral
Exeter cathedral archaeology.jpg
Exeter Cathedral
World News

Archaeologists make 'most exciting discovery ever made' at Exeter Cathedral

by Sophie Drew

Archaeologists working inside Exeter Cathedral uncovered “the most exciting discovery ever made” in the buildings history.

The team has discovered an old Norman altar, built in the early 12th Century, and now sits below the Quire area of the 900-year-old building.

Beyond the Norman high altar, a sunken area has been revealed, which archaeologists now believe indicates a crypt beneath the building, thought to have been built in 1300 AD, despite experts long believing no such space ever existed. 

They have also found, cutting into the backfill, a pair of empty tombs to which they believe belong to bishops Robert Warelwast (nephew of the founding bishop William Warelwast, died c.1155) and William Brewer (who died in 1244)

It’s believed the bodies were translated in 1320, from their original burial places in the Norman Quire.

The archaeological team have branded it the “the most exciting archaeological discovery ever made at Exeter Cathedral.”

The discoveries have come just in time, as the project is due to end in the coming days.

Next week, specialist contractors will continue work in the area, to complete essential building conservation, reduce the Cathedral’s carbon footprint with a more efficient underfloor heating system, and lay a new ‘Jubilee Floor’ tile design using locally-sourced Devon stone.

The Quire project is funded by Exeter Cathedral’s 2020s Development Appeal and supported by the Valencia Communities Fund.

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