24th Sep, 2017

'Great Wall of Evesham' discovered by archaeologists

Joshua Godfrey 28th Jun, 2017 Updated: 29th Jun, 2017

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered a section of Evesham Abbey’s outer precinct wall during investigations at the Vauxhall Inn site.

The well-preserved section of wall, which is more than 650 years-old, was discovered by archaeologist Jamie Wilkins from Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service in March whilst construction work was being carried out.

Abbot William de Chyryton ordered the wall to be built between 1317 and 1344 and it originally ran from the Almonry Museum, across the south side of Merstow Green and down what is now Boat Lane to meet the River Avon.

It was built to replace a ditch that marked the boundary between the town and the outer precinct where the monks from the abbey held land that they farmed to support themselves.

At some point the wall was demolished to ground level and reused in the 19th century as a foundation for the side wall of what is now the Vauxhall Inn.

During the archaeological investigation other discoveries were also made including an unusual piece of decorated mid-11th to 12th century cooking pot. Archaeologists have said this adds to the evidence that the Saxon and medieval town was originally established around Merstow Green.

A Roman yard or road surface was also uncovered underneath Abbot Chryton’s Wall which, along with the results of excavations at Vine Street, suggests the late Saxon settlement outside the abbey gate was established on an earlier Roman site.

Tom Vaughan, Senior Project Manager at Worcestershire Archaeology, said: “The discovery of Bishop Chyryton’s wall along with an earlier metalled surface is fascinating. It provides a vital snapshot into the medieval and Roman history of Evesham.

“It confirms the alignment of the abbey precinct boundary wall, a section of which was previously revealed much further west during investigations in the 1990s, and reveals that Roman settlement activity extended further south than previously thought.

“The structures will be reburied to ensure their survival for future archaeologists to investigate in years to come.”

Historic Environment Advisor Adrian Scruby said: “For such a small site the results of the archaeological work have been fantastic and really help to illustrate the rich history of the town.”

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