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13 November 2014

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You are in: Bristol > Cabot Circus > Cabot Circus people > Archaeology of Cabot Circus

Archaeology of Cabot Circus

Thousands of artefacts are still being cleaned-up and catalogued after they were discovered by archaeologists examining the area where Cabot Circus now stands.

Together, they tell the story of a stinking industrial heart to the crammed medieval centre of Bristol - and an interesting feature to a new elite restaurant.

Cabot Circus: Quaker's Friars

BBC Radio Bristol reporter, Robin Markwell, caught up with the city council's archaeologist Bob Jones. He asked Bob if his team had managed to unearth any treasure.

"We did get some very, very important and interesting evidence about the way people lived," he said.

"Often the humbler sort of finds will give us that sort of information, the pottery they leave behind, the metalwork they were using, the pots and pans, that's what gives us a picture of how life was."

The earliest archaeological levels excavated by the team were "very wet indeed" and Bob admits he felt sorry for them. But, he added, the rewards are so great from that sort of environment, as everything found is so well preserved.

Bob's favourite find was a big timber trough which looked like a small dug-out canoe.

"We are still pondering over its use but think it had some sort of industrial function," he said.

Archaeologists found a lot of "unpleasant" industries were operating in the area: tanning, metalworking, smelly things you wouldn't want next to you in the more salubrious sections of the city.

A few bodies were also discovered, but not many. Records showed there was a Quaker burial ground at Quaker's Friars which was left undisturbed , with building work respectful of the site.

Customers at Raymond Blanc's new restaurant might not be aware that the public space in front of it is Quaker burial ground and probably also a medieval burial ground for the friary.

last updated: 24/09/2008 at 12:26
created: 24/09/2008

You are in: Bristol > Cabot Circus > Cabot Circus people > Archaeology of Cabot Circus

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