Exhumation, removal & re-burial of Human Remains from the site at High Street, Gorleston-On-Sea, Norfolk, on behalf of JD Wetherspoon plc. July 2017
Set-up & Method:
The initial client enquiry came from Dennis Payne of Archaeoserv, Chief Site Archaeologist on behalf of Sanderson Contracts PLC & J.D.Wetherspoon PLC.
The land was formerly the site of a Methodist Chapel and was not known to have any burials in or around the chapel.
During excavation, a brick vault with an arched roof was found, and this vault was found to contain two coffins.
From its position, the vault was, presumably, located beneath the main entrance to the Chapel and suggested the deceased were highly respected members of the congregation, possibly the benefactors of the late 19th Century rebuilding of the chapel. Although a nameplate was found, due to corrosion, it was illegible.
The land was to be used for building a J.D.Wetherspoon Bar & Restaurant, for which, planning permission had already been issued.Dennis Payne was in the process of making application to the MOJ for an Archaeological License to Exhume based on the Disused Burial Grounds Act.
Dennis Payne was in the process of making application to the MOJ for an Archaeological License to Exhume based on the Disused Burial Grounds Act.
An initial inspection of the remains suggested possible Horse Hair linings to the coffins and Lime disinfectant on the coffins. Thus, on the day of the exhumation, full PPE was used by those entering the vault. It became evident the lining was, in fact, hay and the lime had dripped from the lime mortar used to construct the vault.
However, both remains were sealed into zinc lined, hermetically sealed caskets and all PPE destroyed. This being considered ‘Best Practice’
The deceased were re-interred later the same morning in a private plot at Gorleston Old Cemetery.
Health & Safety:
Method Statement & Risk Assessments:
- Core Compliance
- CSCS ‘Green’ Cards.