Gloucester Cathedral archaeological dig finds 1,000-year-old graveyard

Gloucester Cathedral Image copyright Gloucester Cathedral
Image caption A well-preserved grave slab for the Elliot family was among the discoveries

A 1,000-year-old monastic graveyard has been uncovered during archaeological excavations at Gloucester Cathedral

Work to dig four trial trenches began earlier this month ahead of a £6m redevelopment of the New Cathedral Green as part of Project Pilgrim.

Other finds include a section of wall or monument, believed to be part of a 17th or 18th Century graveyard.

Archaeologist Richard Morriss said there was always a "high possibility" of unearthing burials.

"We had always believed [the location] was a 1,000-year-old cemetery," he added.

"But the most exciting finds are connected with how the lives of those buried were commemorated and memorialised.

"The family ledger slab is remarkably well-preserved from the 1690s and in giving us the names of a local family, it shows the connection the cathedral has always had in the lives of Gloucester residents."

The cathedral said outside work had been completed, all discoveries carefully recorded, and the trenches back-filled to ensure they were not disturbed.

Proposals for the landscaping of the New Cathedral Green would "continue as planned", taking the archaeological finds into account, Mr Morriss added.

Excavations outside the cathedral have now been completed and will begin inside the Cathedral Lady Chapel on 27 May.

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