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"Experts find Middle Age boozer"
Experts find Middle Age boozer
trefwoorden: Middeleeuwen - 12e eeuw - 15e eeuw
Lichfield's largest-ever archaeological dig uncovered one of the city's oldest pubs.
The Birmingham Post's Neil Connor pulls up a barstool and examines the drinkers that time forgot...
Every community needs a pub to hold it together, acting as a focal-point for local residents to talk about the day’s events.
Whether it’s the Rovers Return in Weatherfield, or The Queen Vic in Albert Square, a neighbourhood seems almost dysfunctional if it does not have a building where human interaction can take place.
Even in medieval times, one of the country’s most beautiful and religious cities needed an ale-house.
And archeologists have returned to one of Lichfield’s inns almost 800 years after last orders were called on pilgrims, travellers, traders and residents who drank there.
Kirsty Nichol, site director with Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit, led the excavation on Sandford Street.
She said: “The Lichfield excavation was certainly one of the most interesting I have ever worked on.
“To find what may have been an inn is really special. All sorts of people would have gone there including pilgrims visiting the tomb of St Chad at Lichfield Cathedral.
“Travellers would have also visited the inn, which was situated in the ideal place on the edge of the city’s perimeter.”
The archaeology unit also came across a trench, a find which has finally solved the riddle of whether Lichfield was surrounded by a ditch.
Ms Nichol said: “There had been a long debate as to whether a boundary ditch surrounded the city of Lichfield in the Medieval period, but before our dig no one had conclusive proof that it did.
“We found the ditch in Sandford Street as we had hoped and therefore have discovered a very significant piece of the whole puzzle in relation to understanding the history of the city.”
Even the diet of people who relaxed in the inn has been uncovered by the archeologists, who discovered a garderobe, which is now called a public convenience, together with medieval faeces.
"We could find out what people were eating from the medieval period which was a real variety of food,” said Ms Nichol.
“Some of the food was picked from hedgerows, such as berries, and some of it was imported from the Mediterranean, such as figs.”
The toilet was large enough to cater for more than a single domestic dwelling and this, combined with the discovery of a large bread oven, indicates that an inn was likely to have been part of the Sandford Community.”
Kirsty and her team also discovered a large oven, many jugs and fine Cistercian Ware pottery, included a near complete 15th Century Cistercian Ware cup, indicating that the area was both prosperous and residential.
The dig also uncovered evidence of tanning pits, where skin was treated to make leather items, such as shoes.
The excavation was commissioned by Walton Homes between December 2000 and January 2001 on the site of Charter House, Sandford Street, the recently-opened new offices of Walton Homes.
The findings from the excavation have only come to light now, after a report was finished by the archeology unit.
Sales manager for Walton Homes John Heald said: “For us it is interesting to note that Sandford in the medieval period was a residential area with some commercial activity. This mirrors what we have created today.”
bron: IC Birmingham, 28 mei 2003