Ancient Burial Sites Unearthed at Abbey; '1,000?YEAR?OLD REMAINS' FOUND AT DIG SITE

Article excerpt


THE burial grounds of Saxons and nuns are thought to have been uncovered at a 9th century Warwickshire abbey.

The historic remains, going back almost 1,000 years, are the latest discoveries of volunteers taking part in a special archaeology project at Polesworth Abbey.

They have uncovered traces of what is thought to be the original abbey, including the burial grounds of Saxon ancestors and, possibly, those of nuns who lived at the site dating back to the 9th century.

There will be a special service to honour the Christian ancestors on Sunday at 10am. The remains will later be reburied in the presentday churchyard.

"This is a wonderful climax to three years of patient archeological work involving over 200 local people," said Polesworth vicar Father Philip Wells.

"We seem to have found the site of a previous Abbey, probably the first to be founded.

"This confirms the long history of worship here. Once we have the results of samples taken we will know more. These tests will take up to three months to process."

Hundreds of visitors got to view artefacts found at the site previously in an open day held last month.

Excavations during the latest Lottery-supported dig found up to 15 ancient burials, along with foundations connected to the old Abbey and Saxon church.

The work has been carried out under the direction of experts from the Northamptonshire Archaeological team and has been recorded through video bulletins on the internet.

Father Philip added: "Radio carbon dating from the burials adjacent to the church will give us a more information.

"Everyone is asking me if these are the nuns from the abbey. At the moment we don't know, but we all look forward to finding out more.

"These Christian ancestors will be honoured at the service here at Polesworth Abbey on Sunday and then those who have been involved with the dig will help to rebury them in a specially designated part of the present-day churchyard. …