It’s been a particularly interesting week at the Stoke Damerel Church site, with refurbishments to this grade II listed building revealing ancient graves and bones! An archaeologist from A C Archaeology was called in to see the site before any further developments went ahead.
The project, which includes a new floor, underfloor heating and lighting, is being overseen by Site Manager, Daniel Eaton. He stated:
“We’ve found bones and bits before, but not tombs and coffins as such. The room [vault] that’s been found could be up to two meters deep; the last vault which was found and was a similar size to this in Plympton had 11 coffins inside.”
Stoke Damerel is the oldest church in Plymouth with documentary evidence dating it back to the 13th century. Ryearch is working on a part of the building from the 18th century so discovering something interesting was always on the agenda.
The team have been excavating the old floor for six weeks, but finds only started appearing as they moved towards the rear older part. So far crypts and bones have been unearthed and a large burial vault roof has been revealed in the centre of the floor, thought to house at least 10 coffins.
The story has been covered by the Plymouth Herald – Dan pictured