Medieval building found in Llandaff under public toilets

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image copyrightLlandaff 50+
image captionThe building's walls were found to be 1m (3.3ft) thick and standing 2m high

A "high status" medieval building has been discovered under public toilets in Cardiff, according to archaeologists.

The site is next to the 13th Century Old Bishop's Castle in Llandaff, which suggests to experts that an important person would have lived there.

A community dig which began in September also unearthed a fireplace, chequered ceramic floor tiles, animal bones and old horse shoes.

Archaeologists said the medieval building dates back to about 1450.

The dig, which involves more than 200 school children and 35 other volunteers, began as the former toilets are being converted to make way for a community and heritage centre.

The toilets were built in the 1930s on an area known as the Pound as it had been used to house stray animals since the 17th Century.

Lead archaeologist Dr Tim Young said: "This was a surprise to find a high status building."

He said the house, about 10m in length, could be regarded as "prestigious" because Bath stone had been used to construct the fireplace. The stone was not commonly used at the time, although it can be found at Llandaff Cathedral.

image copyrightLlandaff 50+
image captionTwo sides of a 14th Century jeton counting token found at the toilets

It is not known who lived at the house, although Dr Young said it could be a person of status as it was located next to the Old Bishop's Castle, and bishops at that time held manorial rights.

Among the items discovered by Dr Young was a counting token, called a jeton, which was believed to have been struck in Paris in the early 1300s.

The medieval building will now be covered to make way for the construction of a new community venue set up by Llandaff 50+, a charity promoting social inclusion among the over 50s in the local community.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe toilets next to the ruins of the Old Bishop's Castle are being converted into a community centre

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