Large wall discovered alongside the bodies could have been a Norman fortification or linked to the friary. Archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of skeletons that could date back 800 years under the site of a former department store in Wales.
Dyfed Archaeological Trust discovered the remains of more than 240 people, including children, at the site of the Ocky White store in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
It’s thought the gruesome finds could date back to the 13th century St Saviours Friary that occupied the site around 1256 according to site supervisor Andrew Shobbrook. In the early 1200s Wales was still an independent country, but conquest by the English Norman King Henry I was just about secured by the end of that century.
It’s thought a large wall discovered alongside the bodies could have been a Norman fortification or linked to the friary. Speaking to Pure West Radio Andrew Shobbrook said the site was most definitely a cemetery. He said: “We found around 250 individuals so far, fifty per cent probably children. “Sadly, that’s not an uncommon percentage of children you find in medieval church yards, as the mortality rate of infants during that period was so high.
“As well as graves we’ve found lots of pottery, some tarnish wear which is quite a high status medieval pottery which you normally associate with castle sites, high status domestic sites and also ecclesiastical sites like what we’ve got here.”
Mr Shobbrook said it was expected more remains of the friary would be unearthed during the excavations as part of a £6.3 million redevelopment of Haverfordwest.
He said: “You’ve got to imagine the friary would have dormitories, stables, you’d have a hospital, so there’d be lots of other buildings underneath the ground here as well as burials.”