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Medieval College Building Found in Oxford, England

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

OXFORD, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that an investigation conducted ahead of a construction project at Oxford University has revealed the possible site of St. Mary’s College, which was founded in 1435 for Christian priests of the Augustinian order who were studying in Oxford. Historical records indicate that the college fell into disrepair and then faded away after King Henry VIII seized monastery assets between 1536 and 1541. St. Mary’s College, which featured a two-story college chapel and a library, is also known to have been built on the site of an eleventh-century Norman house. The excavation has revealed a limestone wall thought to have been part of a college building, floor tiles, and a series of pits holding butchered animal bones and charcoal that may have been situated near the college’s kitchens. “We are hoping to shed light not only on the layout of the lost college of St. Mary’s, but also discover evidence that tells us about the lives of some of medieval Oxford’s most powerful Norman families who probably lived at the site,” said Ben Ford of Oxford Archaeology. A seventeenth-century stone flagon, a bone comb, and a medieval long cross silver penny were also uncovered, he added. To read about a 1,000-year-old mass grave that was unearthed in 2008 on the grounds of Oxford's St. John's College, go to "Vengeance on the Vikings."

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