Archaeologists make 1,000-year-old Edward the Confessor find in Lincoln

Lincoln Cathedral, which continues to be regarded as one of the most important religious buildings in the UK, has stood for over 900 years, with building works commencing in 1072. The find, which pre-dates the edifice, comes following excavations as part of the National Lottery-funded Lincoln Cathedral Connected project, which includes the delivery of vital restoration and renovation works to the iconic structure, due to complete in 2022. In September 2019, archaeologists from Allen Archaeology Ltd uncovered more than 50 burials, including the remains of a medieval priest with “tools for the afterlife”.

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But they also made one discovery that seemed out of place, a coin depicting the face of Edward the Confessor, the last king of the House of Wessex, who ruled from 1042 to 1066. 

Seasoned archaeologist Natasha Powers told coin is with conservation now, being cleaned so we can tell more about it.

“It came out of an area of disturbed ground, so it has a different date to the rest of the finds.

“But it’s important because it does show us information from before the cathedral was founded.

Lincoln archaeologists uncovered the coinLincoln archaeologists uncovered the coin (Image: ALLEN ARCHAEOLOGY)

Lincoln Cathedral is to be rennovatedLincoln Cathedral is to be rennovated (Image: GETTY)

It’s important because it does show us information from before the cathedral was founded

Natasha Powers

“It showed us that people were using that area and adds weight to the idea that this area was occupied and used by important buildings all the way through Lincoln’s history.”

When Edward died in 1066, he was succeeded by Harold Godwinson, who was defeated and killed in the same year by the Normans under William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.

The coin was minted between 1053 and 1056, and so pre-dates the building of the current cathedral.

Ms Powers said she was not surprised to make discoveries from different eras.

She added: “The area around Lincoln Cathedral has always been known to have a lot of very important archaeology in it.

READ MORE: Archaeologists uncover medieval priest below Lincoln Cathedral with 'tools for afterlife’ 

The coin depicts Edward the ConfessorThe coin depicts Edward the Confessor (Image: WIKI)

“When the Cathedral Connected project was put together, the archaeology and what might be encountered was part of that project from the start.

“Lincoln Cathedral is important in its own right, but once upon a time, it was surrounded by Medieval buildings.

“It certainly has a Saxon predecessor and is built in an area of Lincoln where there’s a lot of Roman archaeology as well.

“We knew from the start there would be interesting archaeology finds from the building works around the cathedral.”

One of the many complete skeletons found is believed to be that of a medieval priest who had been buried in the area that is now the building’s West Parvis.

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