Dig at old Crypt schoolroom in Gloucester ahead of £675,000 regeneration project
A £675,000 project to transform St Mary de Crypt into Christian heritage centre will take a step forward this month.
Volunteers have been awarded £5,000 to undertake an archaeological dig at the Old Crypt Schoolroom.
Work will start on January 21 supervised by Avon Archaeological Unit.
The dig will look for Roman artefacts and could unearth human remains as the classroom is on the site of an old burial ground.
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Project manager Rachel Court said: "We are not sure what we will discover but with such an historic building, in such an important location, we know that we are in for an exciting time."
The project has been funded by money from the Gloucester Community Foundation Ecclesiastical Insurance 125 Fund and the Council for British Archaeology's Challenge Funding which is supported by English Heritage.
The school was founded in 1539 by John and Joan Cook and is the original Tudor grammar school for the city.
It was attended by George Whitfield, one of the founders of Methodism and Robert Raikes, founder of the international Sunday School Movement and owner of the Gloucester Journal, forerunner to The Citizen.
Today the schoolroom and the adjoining church of St Mary de Crypt comprise a family friendly regeneration project known as Discover DeCrypt.
The dig is being done ahead of the site being turned into a public visitors centre where children and families can discover more about the Christian heritage of Gloucester and the faith today.
"Access to the Old Crypt Schoolroom is currently very limited," said Rector of St Mary de Crypt, Canon Nikki Arthy.
"It needs new flooring, new heating and new lighting, internal and external repairs and much more.
"The archeological dig is the first step in this process and we are delighted to have secured the funding that enables this to proceed."