St Mary Magdalen

Skeletons under the floor!

In 1994 Doncaster Corn Exchange was badly damaged by fire and in 1995 ARCUS carried out an archaeological excavation revealing the presence of a number of burials associated with the graveyard of the medieval church of St Mary Magdalene.

The following are extracts from the reports: 

Trench 2 contained five human graves, all oriented East -West. The graves were cut into the natural (012), and filled with a brown silty clay.  Skeleton 1 was the most fully exposed. The body was buried with the head to the west, and with the hands crossed over the pelvis. Analysis of the teeth and bones suggested an older adult, probably male, with an estimated stature of c.1.75m.

The other skeletons were much less accessible. Only the skull and upper torso of skeleton 2 was excavated, while Skeleton 5 was represented only by skull fragments in section. Analysis of Skeleton 2 suggested an older adult female. Skeletons 3 and 4 were largely buried to the west of the trench, only the feet being exposed by excavation.

Other trenches revealed rubble layers containing domestic refuse, including a strap handle fragment dated to the late-fifteenth/early sixteenth century. Other finds were of post-medieval date, including pot, glass, clay pipe and animal bone.

The results of this excavation demonstrated the need for further excavation which  was carried out between November 1995 and January 1996 when further remains were found…………….(continue reading)

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