Archaeologists Make Startling Discovery at Exeter Cathedral’s Burial Crypt
Exeter, Devon – In a groundbreaking excavation project at Exeter Cathedral, archaeologists recently unearthed a burial crypt containing ancient stone-lined tombs. Among the bodies found, one is believed to be that of Bishop William Warelwast, the esteemed nephew of William the Conqueror.
Exeter Cathedral, an architectural marvel of medieval Europe, has enthralled visitors for centuries. The cathedral, which took over 70 years to complete, is now the focus of the cathedral’s 2020s Development Project. The aim of this project is to preserve the structure by replacing the current concrete floors with traditional building materials and installing an efficient underfloor heating system.
The remarkable discovery of the burial crypt contradicts previously held beliefs that the cathedral did not have an inner crypt due to the marshy and sandy soil underlying the area. Fragments of medieval tiles and Victorian tiles were also recovered during the excavation, shedding further light on the history of the cathedral.
In an unexpected twist, pieces from a 1962 edition of the Express & Echo newspaper were found tucked underneath the seat of the cathedral’s canon treasurer. The significance of this find is yet to be fully understood.
The first body discovered in the crypt is believed to be that of William Brewer, an influential and prominent 13th-century Bishop of Exeter. The second tomb, undoubtedly one of the highlights of the discovery, belongs to William Warelwast. Warelwast, a distinguished 12th-century Bishop, was not only highly respected within the church but was also the nephew of William the Conqueror. The historical significance of his familial ties to the Norman conquest and the subsequent rulers of England cannot be overstated.
This groundbreaking discovery has sent shockwaves through the archaeological community and has reignited interest in Exeter Cathedral’s rich history. The excavation project has not only given us a glimpse into the lives of these revered historical figures but has also allowed for a better understanding of the cathedral’s architectural evolution.
As the excavation continues, historians and archaeologists are eagerly awaiting further revelations from the burial crypt, hoping to unravel more mysteries surrounding Exeter Cathedral’s storied past.