Medieval skulls found in Coventry's Old Grammar School

Fragments of the skulls and bones The bones were found beneath the excavated floor at Coventry's Old Grammar School

Related Stories

Fragments of medieval skulls and bones have been found during the restoration of a 12th Century building in Coventry.

The bones found in the Old Grammar School are believed to date back to some time between the 12th and 16th Centuries.

The excavation of the Grade I listed building is part of an £8.5m scheme to restore the building and extend the neighbouring Transport Museum.

Experts described the finds as "surprising".

The year-long project, which began in March, will see the building restored for use as an exhibition, education and events space.

The Old Grammar School

The Old Grammar School
  • Coventry's Old Grammar School was built in the 12th Century and was used as a hospital, run by the city's monastery, until the 16th Century
  • Following the dissolution of the monasteries it became a grammar school that bore Henry VIII's name
  • The school moved to Warwick Road in the 19th Century and the building stood empty for several years

It is hoped the finds will go on display in the building when the work is completed.

Julian Marsh, the scheme's architect, said he had been "surprised" by the finds.

"We found them when we excavated the floor," he said. "We found a few bits of bones and skulls, probably from when the building was in use as a hospital."

Dr Cathy Coutts, senior archaeologist with Archaeology Warwickshire, said the dig had also revealed evidence about the building's use as a school.

"Between the floorboards, we found bits of quills, cigarette packets and part of an old chess piece," she said.

"This is a Grade I listed building that's been in use for hundreds of years. There were quite a lot of bones and skulls, including a long bone which you can see has been broken.

"The building was in use between the 12th and 16th Century as a hospital, so we suspect a lot of the bones came from that time."

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire



Min. Night 5 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • A robotClick Watch

    The latest in robotics including software that can design electronics to solve problems

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.