Cathedral Close St Mary Major, Exeter 1971-1976 (Exeter archive site 40)

Exeter City Council, Cotswold Archaeology, 2015

Data copyright © Exeter City Council unless otherwise stated

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Exeter City Council
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https://doi.org/10.5284/1035177
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Exeter City Council, Cotswold Archaeology (2015) Cathedral Close St Mary Major, Exeter 1971-1976 (Exeter archive site 40) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1035177

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Introduction

Cathedral Close St Mary Major, Exeter 1971-1976 (Exeter archive site 40) This archive consists of information from excavations that took place in Cathedral Close, Exeter between 1971 and 1976. These excavations were as follows:
  • St Mary Major 1971:
    excavations commenced in 16th June 1971 due to the site being threatened after demolition of the parish church and following a proposal for the construction of an underground car park. During this work, small trenches were opened initially, with tomb slabs recorded and removed in the nave, recording of the deep-cut burials in the aisle and burials being swiftly removed down to Roman levels in the northern strip excavation.
  • War Memorial 1971 (Trench 8):
    excavation occurred in Autumn 1971 to assess the possible survival of Roman levels in the area north of the war memorial and the water tank in anticipation of an extension of the excavations.
  • War Memorial 1972 (Trench 10):
    excavations commenced in the Spring of 1972 to further investigate a Roman building discovered in the Mary Major excavations, this also uncovered burials which were planned accordingly.
  • War Memorial 1972-3 (Trench 10a):
    excavations were located to the north side of St Mary Major's chancel, alongside the wall and bounded by trenches 10, 11 and a gas/water pipe. Again burials were planned and photographed.
  • War Memorial 1972 (Trench 11):
    the trench was opened on 26 April 1972, on the eastern side of the excavations. Again burials were discovered and planned.
  • War Memorial 1972 (Trench 12):
    located on the western side of the excavations from the north wall of St Mary Major almost to the war memorial. Some skeletons were planned.
  • War Memorial 1972-3 (Trench 14):
    the trench was opened in mid July 1972 after the closure of the road from Broadgate to Deanery Place enabled excavations to be extended. All later medieval and post-medieval levels, roads and burials were removed without record as it was possible to immediately re-inter burials in consecrated ground (namely the nave and aisles of St Mary major, which were being infilled at the time). Roman levels were reached and two vaults retained as examples of the type of burials in this part of the site. Excavations then proceeded layer by layer.
  • Cathedral Yard 1975
  • Cathedral Green 1976 Main Area, "densely populated area" and front trench:
    excavation began in the summer months of 1976 to facilitate the construction of a processional way. Burial cuts were planned.