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Leicester Cathedral.jpg
Leicester Cathedral.jpg
UK News

Burials of 124 graves found next to Leicester Cathedral

by Alex Collett

Archaeologists have uncovered a total of 124 graves next to Leicester Cathedral

The building is undergoing a £12.7m restoration and has been closed since January to allow the construction of a visitor and learning centre.

With hundreds more expected, teams also want to find out how long it has been a site of Christian worship.

Simon Bentley is the project manager at Leicester Cathedral, he told Premier more about the graves found. 

"All the human remains so far has been carefully removed, and will be taken away for analysis by a team of specialists.

"There's a lot we can find out about the lives of our ancestors, basically, in terms of their diet, their health, all sorts of things that we can learn at some careful analysis of the bones. 

"Of the 124 human remains that we've found, we've been able to identify four of them so far.

"We identified them from their coffin, most of the coffin plates at the time might have been wood, or they might have been tin plates, and they corrode very quickly. 

"The ones that have been preserved are more durable, they're made from brass. 

"As soon as we have a coffin plate that we can read with a name, usually a date of birth and a date of death than the archaeologists can determine what era they are from.

"Archaeologists are very clever, they can go back to the parish records, they can go back to the census, and they can find out all sorts of things about that person."

Bentley also expressed as well as the human remains, they found a number of various interesting artefacts.

He said: "We found lots of pottery, including early Roman pottery, and then right through the ages, mediaeval pottery and Victorian pottery, lots of clay pipes, coins, buttons, symbols, marbles, and of course, lots of shroud pins. 

"When people were buried, they were buried inside cloth shrouds, and they were held together by various pins and so we found a lot of other interesting artefacts as well."

Burial records showed that the graves are from about 1738 and 1855 and the graveyard was closed in 1856 as they were beginning to overcrowd.

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