Birmingham & Black Country

18th century Wolverhampton remains reinterred

The remains in a coffin being taken into the church service Image copyright Wolverhampton Council
Image caption A total of 14 remains were removed and analysed, Wolverhampton Council said

The remains of a number of bodies, found by construction workers developing a new market, have been reinterred.

Twenty sets of remains were found last year while work was being completed on Wolverhampton's £5m market.

Archaeologists say they were the bodies of 18th century Protestant dissenters, found at the city's former Temple Street Independent Chapel.

The majority of remains discovered were those of children, the council said.

A commemorative plaque has been unveiled in the dissenters' honour at the market site.

Image copyright Wolverhampton Council
Image caption A commemorative plaque has now been unveiled in the dissenters' honour

Dissenters were people who refused to take Anglican communion. As a result, they were forbidden from being buried in Anglican churchyards.

The remains were found during groundworks on Cleveland Street, Snow Hill and Temple Street with research showing they formed part of a burial ground associated with the former Temple Street Independent Chapel, Wolverhampton council said.

A total of 14 remains were removed and analysed by with the help of Worcestershire Archaeology, the authority added, while six sets were left in their original resting place.

The 14 which were removed were identified as those of babies and children aged under seven years old.

Image copyright Wolverhampton Council
Image caption Archaeologists said the remains were originally part of a former 18th century chapel burial site

Rev David Wright led a service at St John's Church, based on the 16th Century Book of Common Prayer, to formally reinter the removed remains.

The hearse containing the casket of remains was then driven past a guard of honour at the new market on Cleveland Street before undergoing a private burial at Danescourt Cemetery.

Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment, said: "Their link to the site and the former Temple Street Chapel will be forever remembered through the plaque that will sit proudly at our new market."

Image copyright Wolverhampton Council
Image caption The hearse containing the casket of remains was then driven past a guard of honour at the new market on Cleveland Street

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