Incredible medieval remains discovered at Devon building site

Started by gash, April 05, 2019, 02:11:31 pm

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Remains of a 'substantial' medieval building have been discovered beneath the Newton's Place museum in Newton Abbot.

Workmen began digging a lift shaft yesterday when a previously hidden internal floor, possibly 500-years-old or more, began to emerge.

Then the remains of whitewashed and plastered stone walls up to 70cm thick started to appear. One contained what is believed to be a bay window or door threshold.

Archaeologists Stuart Randall and Silvia Criado were called in and the cobbled surface of a long-forgotten passageway or courtyard was unveiled.

"We've certainly got a building here that's older than the church,' said Stuart.

"The cobbled surface seems to be contemporary with one of the walls which the later church seems to have cut through.

"It would have been quite common [to have walls this thick] if this was a public building like a church or something similar, it's certainly a substantial building of some kind, it's certainly of significance.

"It raises lots of questions which we can now now dive into the historical and archaeological records to try and find a bit more about."

All the remains had been damaged by the construction of St Leonard's in the 1830s although enough evidence survives to show the building appears to have projected further into the street than the former church and was on the same alignment as the centuries-old Turk's Head pub which sat next door until demolition in 2010.

The thickness of the walls suggests it was a public place rather than a private residence.

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