Thursday 6 March 2008

Anglo-Saxon graves found at Peterborough Cathedral

EIGHT Anglo-Saxon grave markers belonging to ordinary folk have been uncovered in Peterborough Cathedral's grounds during restoration work. Workers at the site, who are repairing ancient stone walls in the precincts, alerted the cathedral's archaeologist to the find, which was discovered in the same wall as a medieval fireplace.

Archaeologist Dr Jackie Hall analysed the pieces, and discovered they were 11th century grave markings which are believed to have come from a monks' cemetery. Dr Hall said: "It was an incredible find, and very exciting to see such a large collection of grave markers in one small area. They are particularly important because we don't have anything else like this in Peterborough. There are other grave markers of a similar date in the cathedral, but they are ornate and not visible to the public. Although these pieces are not as high class or as special, they are still an extraordinary find."

The markings could have belonged to monks, but are more likely to have belonged townsfolk who wanted to be commemorated at the abbey. Although some were not immediately recognised as they have been damaged, some can be seen with crosses on them and others are slightly more ornate with gridded markers.

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