Tyne and Wear HER(1437): Newcastle, Austin Friary, inhumations - Details
Newcastle, Austin Friary, inhumations
Religious Ritual and Funerary
At a meeting of the Antiquaries on 25 Jan. 1899, "Mr R.S. Thorpe called attention to the number of interments which were being unearthed near the Jesus hospital. They were now being found daily. Dr Adamson said that whenever human remains were found in the coffins they were being re-interred in All Saints churchyard". This sounds like a large-scale operation, but without further work it is not clear precisely where it was taking place. The most probable explanation is that the burials were in the cemetery of the Austin Friars (their church being more or less coterminous with the Holy Jesus Hospital), and as the cloister was north of the church perhaps the cemetery was to the south, under City Road and buildings south of it. In 2014 during a watching brief to monitor works to a failed sewer to the rear of Holy Jesus Hospital, a human skeleton was revealed. The grave was orientated east-west, the head (which was missing) to the west. The gender of the individual could not be determined. He or she was aged between 35 and 50 years and was between five feet four inches and five foor eight inches in height. The upper part of the skeleton was probably destroyed when a manhole was installed. The skeleton was radiocarbon dated to between 1265 and 1395 cal AD. However a marine influence probably affected the dates (the individual consumed a diet comprising almost one third of marine derived food) and so the dates were recalibrated taking the marine reservoir reffect into account. This provided a date of between 1295 and 1435 cal AD. These dates sit within the known chronology of the Austin Friary. The individual was probably an inhabitant of the friary or a lay patron. The trench was just over 1m deep.
<< HER 1437 >> Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 1901, 2, IX (for 1899-1900), 7; Craig Huddart and Scott Williams, Archaeological Research Services Ltd, 2014, An Archaeological Watching Brief at Holy Jesus Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne