HUNDREDS of human remains are excavated from a construction site in Haverfordwest as the Dyfed Archaeological Trust struck the ancient cemetery of a mysterious convent based in the city.
The trust began digging into the site of the former Ocky Whites department store on Bridge Street in February with the hopes that they would find clues to the mysterious St Savior’s Convent, which was known to be in the city, but no one knew exactly where.
There were signs of the existence of a medieval convent in Haverfordwest with clues to the town such as the Friars Vaults pub and street names such as Friars Lane, however there was no firm evidence of where the 13th-century convent was actually located.
But when the Pembrokeshire County Council acquired the old Ocky Whites and announced they would demolish them to build the town’s new food hall, it gave the Dyfed Archaeological Trust a chance to go underground and find out exactly what happened in the dark story. by Haverfordwest.
What the trust has discovered are skeletons and a lot of them.
The Ocky Whites building was located on a 19th-century blacksmith and cemetery dating back to the 1200s that is now producing hundreds of skeletal remains.
Remarkably, one third of these remains are children under the age of four.
Dyfed Arch Trust doesn’t want to give us a figure, but won’t be surprised if they hit 300 ancient corpses.
In a bizarre twist to this fascinating tail, a mysterious puncture wound was found in one of the excavated skulls.
Archaeologists aren’t sure, but they believe it could have come from a bullet fired at the corpse with ears that appear to have been mutilated, the first hint of medieval warfare in the city.
Site manager for the excavation Andrew Shobbrook said this opportunity gave the team the first chance to examine medieval Haverfordwest.
“We are extremely grateful to Pembrokeshire County Council, Faithful and Gould, John Weaver Contractors and all the volunteers for their help with the project,” said Shobbrook.
“It is very important for us to find out more about the history of Haverfordwest. There has been very little archaeological mining in the city and we are unearthing some fantastic finds.
The final piece of the puzzle is the “unknown shield design” found printed on an ancient piece of tile.
Mr. Shobbrook addressed a reminder to anyone familiar with the shield design which features three oaks on a white shield.
Do you know anything about the shield design? Get in touch with the Western Telegraph and let us know.
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