Sussex

Brighton Corn Exchange dig finds 200-year-old burial site

200 year old skeletons found at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange Image copyright Carlotta Luke
Image caption The remains were found underneath a conference room at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange

A 200-year-old burial site has been discovered during redevelopment work at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange.

One skeleton was found earlier this week, but now nine graves have been uncovered.

The remains are in the process of being exhumed from underneath the area previously used as the venue's mini conference room.

They are thought to be from a Quaker burial ground that existed before the Royal Pavilion Estate was built.

Image copyright Carlotta Luke
Image caption It is thought the site was used as a Quaker burial ground

Alan Robins, chair of Brighton and Hove City Council's tourism, development and culture committee said: "The remains are now being carefully exhumed and will be examined to determine more about the deceased before being re-buried or cremated."

He added the Royal Pavilion Estate site had "so many strong historic links" and the find is "another important addition to the city's rich cultural story".

Darryl Palmer of Archaeology South-East, which is managing the dig on site, said: "This is a significant find that shines a light on an important historical moment in the city. The Quaker meeting house and cemetery at the Dome is recorded on the Bishop's map of 1803 and absent by the OS town plan of 1876.

Image copyright Carlotta Luke
Image caption The work is part of a project to restore the Royal Pavilion Estate buildings and gardens

"The best clue as to when worship and burial ceased is when the Quaker meeting house moved to the current location on Meeting House Lane in 1805."

A spokesperson for Brighton Quakers said they were "excited" with the news

"We have known for a long time about the burial ground being used from 1700 to 1805 but did not know that any Quakers were left buried there."

The work at the Corn Exchange is part of a project to restore the Royal Pavilion Estate buildings and gardens. It is expected to finish by the end of 2018.

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