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Archaeologists uncover medieval road beneath Lincoln Cathedral grounds

A 13th century medieval road has been uncovered by archaeologists undertaking works at Lincoln Cathedral.

Allen Archaeology Ltd discovered the road whilst carrying out excavation works as part of the National Lottery funded Lincoln Cathedral Connected project.

The road likely dates back to between 1280 and 1290, the same period that the Cathedral’s cloister was built. The purpose of the road remains unknown, although experts believe it could have been used to transport stone and building materials for the construction of the cloister.

The excavation has also revealed what is believed to be a late Saxon grave, which if confirmed, could evidence the location of Lincoln’s Saxon minster. The minster existed before the Cathedral was built, but its precise location has remained a mystery. Near to the Saxon grave appears to be a pillar base, which could be part of the minster itself and is the only evidence ever found of it to date.

Archaeologists are now excavating beneath the medieval road in the hope of finding further columns or building remains which may also be part of the minster. The excavation process is due to take place over the next few weeks and any new discoveries could reveal more details about the minster.

Mark Allen of Allen Archaeology said: “These findings are just the latest discoveries that have come to light as part of the excavation works that are ongoing at Lincoln Cathedral. We have uncovered so much since the project began and to unexpectedly find a medieval road was amazing.

“The possibility that we might be getting closer to confirming the location of Lincoln’s Saxon minster is also a very exciting prospect. We’re eagerly working away to see what else is hidden on the site.”

Made possible by £12.4m raised by National Lottery players and awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), these excavations and other works will protect the Cathedral and its rich history, whilst creating new spaces for all visitors to enjoy.

Newly unearthed treasures will form part of the exhibitions in the Cathedral’s new visitor centre which opens in 2020.

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