Posts Tagged With: church

Burial vault discovered ‘accidentally’ at Gloucester Cathedral…..


Coffins inside a tomb at Gloucester Cathedral
Archaeologists said they did not expect to find the vault beneath the floor of the cathedral

An “extremely well preserved” family burial vault has been discovered “accidentally” at Gloucester Cathedral.

The tomb in the North Transept contains coffins belonging to the Hyett family dating from the 17th and 18th Century.

It was found by archaeologists who lifted a neighbouring ledger stone while carrying out an evaluation ahead of the installation of a new lift.

The process caused a small hole to be created which allowed the contents of the vault to be seen.

Human remains found beneath ledger stone in Gloucester Cathedral
Re-deposited human remains were discovered beneath a ledger stone

Cathedral archaeologist Richard Morriss said the discovery of the 8ft (2.5m) deep chamber was unexpected.

“What you normally find when you dig up a ledger slab is earth and bones, there’s nothing specific in there.

Coffin inside a tomb at Gloucester Cathedral
Experts say the coffins are extremely well preserved

“But we can just see into a genuine intact family vault.

“You would expect the cathedral to have been restored time and time again. The floors get churned up and re-laid, but this has stayed intact.

“The coffins are extremely well preserved, you can still see the name plates.

Archaeological dig inside Gloucester Cathedral
Archaeologists were digging in the North Transept when the discovery was made

“And the name plates actually match up with the names on the ledgers above, which is remarkable.”

Mr Morriss said the family must have been “pretty wealthy” to have afforded this kind of burial vault within the heart of the cathedral.

The Reverend Canon Celia Thomson, said the discovery of the vault was “really exciting” and the discovery of a child’s coffin was “particularly poignant”.

Ledger stone
Name plates on the coffins match up with names on the ledger stone above them

“You can just imagine the grief of the parents at that stage. It brings history to life,” she said.

Lord Dickinson, who is a descendent, by marriage, of the Hyett family, said the discovery was “fascinating”.

“Like the rest of the world I didn’t know there was anything under the slab,” he said.

Lord Dickinson
Lord Dickinson said the discovery of the tomb was “fascinating”

Re-deposited human remains were discovered beneath the ledger stone, including a number of skulls and leg bones.

The installation of a new lift in the North Transept is part of a 10-year plan, known asProject Pilgrim, to improve facilities at the medieval building.

Child's coffin in vault in Gloucester Cathedral
One of the coffins belonged to a child who died aged nine months old

The discovery of the vault will be featured on Inside Out West on BBC One on Monday 2 November at 19:30 GMT and afterwards for 30 days on the BBC iPlayer.

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Arizona Ghost Town….Castle Dome


Castle Dome City1[4]

hotel-and-church
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Castle Dome is located 30 miles north of Yuma. Once a thriving industrial town bustling with more than 3,000 inhabitants, Castle Dome is now a deserted place in the desert.

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Swedish Tower of Poop….New Crown Jewels?


2 tons of pigeon droppings found in Swedish church tower; hatch left open for decades

A hatch on a Swedish church tower inadvertently left open for some three decades resulted in 2 tons of pigeon droppings amassing in the tower.
The church’s property manager says the layer of droppings was 30 centimetres (12 inches) deep when it was discovered during a May inspection of the Heliga Trefaldighets Kyrka in Gavle, 170 kilometres (105 miles) north of Stockholm.
Lennart Helzenius said on Thursday that church staff had been shocked by the sheer number of bags of excrement cleaners were removing from the tower. He says the droppings filled 80 bags in the first round of cleaning, and then just as many in the second round.
Helzenius says the hatch had probably been left open since the 1980s.

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Officials offer rare peek of ancient frescoes……



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Italy’s Culture Ministry has allowed a rare peak at a €3 million ($3.8 million) restoration of medieval frescoes in the ancient church of St. Mary in the Roman Forum.
During a visit on Monday, a restorer in blue rubber gloves stood on a metal scaffold and took s a small paint brush to the dark clothing of a Byzantine Madonna on the walk of the church experts refer to as the Sistine Chapel of the seventh century.
The restoration project aimed at bringing the medieval frescoes back to their early glory has been under way since 2001.
The small church, built between imperial Roman palaces, is considered the most important Christian monument in the Forum.
The works is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

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UPDATE!!…..Battle-Bruised Skeleton May Be King Richard III



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A human skeleton with a cleaved skull discovered beneath a parking lot in England may belong to King Richard III, researchers announced today (Sept. 12), though they have a long way to go in analyzing the bones to determine the identity.

The researchers note they are not saying they have found King Richard III’s remains, but that they are moving into the next phase of their search, from the field to the laboratory.

“[W]e are clearly very excited, but the University now must subject the findings to rigorous analysis. DNA analysis will take up to 12 weeks,” Richard Taylor, the director of corporate affairs at the University of Leicester, told reporters this morning, as recorded in a tweet.

The remains were hidden within the choir of a medieval church known as Greyfriars, where the English monarch was thought to be buried. Though the location of this church had been lost, historical records suggested Richard III was buried there upon his death in battle in 1485.

Two skeletons were discovered: a female skeleton that was broken apart at the joints was discovered in what is believed to be the Presbytery of the lost Church; the other skeleton, which appears to be an adult male, was found in the church choir and shows signs of trauma to the skull and back before death, which would be consistent with a battle injury, the researchers said. [See images of the Richard III discoveries]

“A bladed implement appears to have cleaved part of the rear of the skull,” according to a University of Leicester statement.

In addition, a barbed metal arrowhead was lodged between the vertebrae of the male skeleton’s upper back, Taylor said, adding that the spinal abnormalities suggest the individual had severe scoliosis, though was not a hunchback, as he was portrayed by Shakespeare in the play of the king’s name.

Even so, the scoliosis seen in the skeleton would’ve made the man’s right shoulder appear visibly higher than the left one. “This is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance,” according to the university statement.

University of Leicester archaeologists began excavating the parking lot of the Leicester City Council building on Aug. 25, in search of the church and the king’s remains. Since then, they have turned up the Franciscan friary, a 17th-century garden thought to hold a memorial to the king and various other artifacts.

On Aug. 31, the dig team applied to the Ministry of Justice for permission to begin exhuming the two skeletons, a process that began on Sept. 4.

“We are hopeful that we will recover DNA from the skeleton,” University of Leicester geneticist Turi King said at the briefing, as recorded in a tweet by the university.

The king’s tales

King Richard III ruled for England two years, from 1483 to 1485, before dying in the Battle of Bosworth Field, part of the War of the Roses, an English civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York.

A century later, William Shakespeare penned “Richard III,” a play about the tragic king — the last English king to die in battle.

The king seemed to have his own following. “Richard III is a charismatic figure who attracts tremendous interest, partly because he has been so much maligned in past centuries, and partly because he occupies a pivotal place in English history,” Philippa Langley, a representative of the Richard III society, said in a statement.

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The Hunt for King Richard…Church found…..


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The hunt for King Richard III’s grave is heating up, with archaeologists announcing today (Sept. 5) that they have located the church where the king was buried in 1485.

“The discoveries so far leave us in no doubt that we are on the site of Leicester’s Franciscan Friary, meaning we have crossed the first significant hurdle of the investigation,” Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on the dig, said in a statement.

Buckley and his colleagues have been excavating a parking lot in Leicester, England, since Aug. 25. They are searching for Greyfriars church, said to be the final resting place of Richard III, who died in battle during the War of the Roses, an English civil war. A century later, Shakespeare would immortalize Richard III in a play of the same name.

After his death in the Battle of Bosworth Field, Richard III was brought to Leicester and buried at Greyfriars. The location of the grave, and the church itself, was eventually lost to history, though University of Leicester archaeologists traced the likely location to beneath the parking lot for the Leicester City Council offices.

The team announced last week that their first two trenches turned up glazed floor-tile fragments, medieval roof tile and other building fragments, suggesting that they were digging in the right place to find Greyfriars. Now, a third trench has revealed the alignment of the building’s walls.

“We now think we have evidence for a two-meter-wide [6.5 feet] north-south passageway, which originally had a tile floor — this may be a cloister walk on one side of a cloister garth or courtyard,” Buckley said. “At right angles to this is an east-west aligned building some five meters [16 feet] wide, again with evidence for a tiled floor.” [Gallery: Digging for Richard III]

North of the building, there is an open space and then another large building with walls nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) thick, Buckley said. The archaeologists suspected that the thick wall might be the south wall of the church building, and now the third trench suggests that, indeed, the wall continues and meets up with another wall to the north with a mortar floor in between.

“The size of the walls, the orientation of the building, its position and the presence of medieval inlaid floor tiles and architectural fragments make this almost certainly the church of the Greyfriars,” Buckley said.

The archaeologists now plan to excavate further in search of the church’s high alter and choir. The latter spot is recorded in history as the site of King Richard III’s grave. If the king’s body is found, he will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. If he is not discovered, Buckley said, the excavation has been a success in that it has uncovered a medieval church lost for four centuries.

“With or without the burial place of Richard III, the investigation has been extremely rewarding and makes a significant contribution in terms of telling the story of medieval Leicester,” Buckley said.

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