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What Lies Beneath Lich Street

Schooling and Science
What Lies Beneath Lich Road
Updated on June sixteen, 2015 Pollyanna Jones morePollyanna writes about folklore, magic, historical past and legends, focussing on British, Irish, Germanic, and Celtic cultures.

Worcester in the Midlands area of England, is a metropolis steeped in history. It is believed that a commerce route went via town throughout Neolithic times, later being included into the Roman Ryknild Road. On an essential stretch of the mighty river Severn, the settlement boomed and prospered, with the towering cathedral being constructed between 1084 and 1504. The town played a key position within the English Civil Warfare with the Cavalier forces of King Charles battling Oliver Cromwell’s “Roundhead” Military. The city ultimately fell as the English Monarchy’s grip on energy slipped throughout this tempestuous time.

With every passing century, the city has grown, changed, and adapted. New has overtaken the outdated, quite actually in this stunning metropolis. The foundations of the previous have been built upon in components of the town, buried beneath the streets and buildings of modern development.

Within the bustling centre of town, a uncommon opportunity was granted to view an period that had been hid by the forces of change. The same forces had revealed the foundations of an notorious row of buildings, in a lost avenue called Lich Street.

Works were underway to enhance a road junction the place College Street meets Deansway, and the clock was ticking. The location can be open for only a few weeks before being reburied beneath the brand new visitors roundabout. I hastily grabbed the possibility to see it before it was too late.

The Dig
A traffic island close to Worcester’s landmark Edward Elgar statue and Worcester Cathedral had been dug up to permit for works to happen. I had solely ever seen this place coated in grass and trees, and it was quite a distinction to see the highest layer removed.

Few of us ever think about what lies beneath our feet when walking by way of a city or city. Could I’ve imagined that the cellars and foundations of these buildings had been only a few inches beneath the floor

Under is a fashionable map of the realm. The dig site was in the centre of the site visitors roundabout, seen in the course of the map picture.

{“lat”:52.189533,”lng”:-2.220118,”zoom”:17,”mapType”:”ROADMAP”,”markers”:[]} Guides had been on hand to take guests safely to the positioning and describe what we were looking at. As we waited for our appointed time, we had been given high visibility jackets, and had been allowed to browse through a folder containing previous photographs of Lich Street earlier than it was demolished.

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Our information, Su, was one of many researchers for the undertaking, and it was a real deal with to have such a knowledgeable and professional woman take us around the dig.

We entered the site and saved to a rigorously laid path. Much of the world was unstable or sensitive. The guide advised us how because of the tree roots, it was not safe for them to dig any deeper in some areas as the roots had caused motion and weakening of the foundations. Utility pipes and cables snaked over the stumps of cellar walls, whilst the old street itself was still seen; a lot narrower than fashionable roads in david kerr stone island the town.

Surprisingly, much of the old street remained, despite being laid to break and rubble. A properly was nonetheless seen in an previous brick-covered courtyard, which would have been operated by a hand pump. These devices have been notorious in spreading cholera in the 1800s, as often the drinking water would turn into polluted with sewerage.

The cellars confirmed how a lot of the city’s older building materials had been recycled. Sandstone, maybe from the previous City Partitions or the Monastery that stood to the South of Worcester Cathedral. Medieval bricks had also been re-utilized in building the more recent buildings.

Our information explained how when the new street junction was built, much of the world was demolished. Where Lich Street met Deansway, the slender street would not be appropriate for motor traffic as the road was initially constructed through the medieval period.

College road was built to accommodate larger visitors volumes around this space, and part of Bygones of Worcester (to the left of the photo) and the sensible building to the proper were demolished. For those who look at the white paint on the facet of the proper-hand building, it provides you with an thought of the outline of the property that was as soon as adjoining to this.

Life on Lich Street
The street was not affluent, and had a little bit of a repute. Individuals have been suggested to not walk down there on their own, least of all after darkish!

Like many cities, poverty was rife. The needy would typically develop into determined, and crime and anti-social behaviour were not uncommon on this a part of Worcester.

The buildings on Lich Street were not surprisingly, condemned, and were demolished within the 1960s when this part of Worcester was redeveloped.

…one building might comprise many alternative tenants, typically with whole households being crammed into one room.

Before the bulldozers moved in, the buildings of Lich Street have been of blended use. The bottom floors were used as retailers, with the floors above rented out for folks to dwell in. A few of the cellar partitions are whitewashed and have fireplaces in them, which suggests that even these were lived in.

Like many cities, landlords would usually capitalise on their properties and cut up their constructing into as many leasable dwellings as doable. As a result, one building may include many different tenants, sometimes with complete families being crammed into one room.

St. Michael’s Church
Beneath the section where the roundabout meets School Street, to the south east of the positioning, lie the foundations of St. Michael’s Church. Buried completely beneath the street, this building once stood next to the Cathedral. Initially medieval, the since demolished constructing was rebuilt in the 19th Century on account of being in poor condition.

Through the Lich Avenue dig, a large chunk of ornate stone was discovered within the rubble. It soon emerged that this was one of many ornamental spires that stood on the top of St. Michael’s.

The church would have served the group around Lich Road, and would have been used for all the things from Christenings to Funerals. There’s a burial ground near the dig space that has yet to be unearthed, but could also be underneath the road or the grass space between Faculty Road and the struggle memorial outdoors Worcester Cathedral.

Interestingly, a doorway was found in a cellar close to to where St. Michael’s Church would have been. It is possible that this building had one thing to do with the church, and was recommended that a tunnel went from this doorway in direction of St. Michael’s. Maybe for the clergy to move unseen, or deal with extra sensitive business out of sight of their parishioners

The Lich Gate
“Lich” is the previous word for a dead body or corpse, as well as being a type of animated undead creature! Thankfully, there are not any shambling zombies shuffling around Worcester (except it’s their Zombie Stroll), rather the street took its identify from it being the main route to take the dead out of the city.

The lifeless could be prepared for burial inside town, and buried outdoors the previous City Walls. Even as late because the early 20th Century, coffins had been rested at Lich Gate stone ledge. After permission to maneuver the coffin out of the town, the bereaved family members would be capable of take the physique out previous the walls for burial at St. Michael’s Church or Worcester Cathedral.

A part of the outdated metropolis partitions can still be seen close to Worcester Cathedral, where a gatehouse survives. City Partitions Street also comprises a size of sandstone wall that marked the old boundary of Worcester city.

The Lich Gate has lengthy since gone, however our information defined how at least two guests to the site had said that they had heard it had been eliminated by a farmer and had been re-utilized in some sort of agricultural building. So it should still be found!

“Lich” is the previous word for a dead body or corpse
The Finds
The Archaeology Team found all method of items through the dig. Due to the unstable nature of the partitions, they had been solely capable of dig a number of feet down, but nonetheless, the findings are impressive.

All kinds of issues turned up within the rubble, with numerous items being included in “backfill” – rubble and soil that was collected from close by and dumped in the cellars to pack them up. The backfill made dating the soil ranges difficult, however included items from Roman, Saxon, and Medieval durations.

While the older finds signify of the depth of historical past of Worcester, the youthful gadgets give us a style of day-to-day lift for these dwelling in Lich Street. Simply out of attain of my lifetime, but within dwelling memory for many who visited the location while it was open.

Glass bottles, a bone spoon, pottery, glass, and tiles have been combined up with the older gadgets, leaving the archaeologists guessing which interval they were from. Some were more easy to identify than others.

You possibly can hear descriptions of life on Lich Road and recollections of those that lived in and knew the place on the “Dig Lich Road” website. I have included a hyperlink in “Sources” for you to observe to seek out these.

So What’s Next
Guided visits to the positioning have now ended. The buildings might be fastidiously covered with a thick and resilient polythene membrane before being refilled with concrete and lined back up. Works to improve the junction will then proceed.

It’s all the time sad to see such websites reburied, however it will be protected and shall be reinstated in such a approach that people can return in the future should they want, and nonetheless be in a position to succeed in the buried cellars if further archaeological studies are planned.

A permanent dwelling might be discovered for the finds, while the Dig Staff study the gadgets and accounts from the general public that will help then to piece together more information about life in Worcester before the redevelopment of the 1960s.

I’m very grateful that the town of Worcester provided people the chance to explore this site, and cannot wait to see the rest of the finds of their new residence.

[1] Dig Lich Avenue
[2] Worcester Information

“You’re Most likely from Worcester, If…” Purchase Now Lea margin:0px !important;” /> © 2015 Pollyanna Jones

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sendingAuthorPollyanna Jones 2 years in the past from United Kingdom

peachpurple – St. Michael’s church was demolished some time in the past, when School Street was extended. So it’s somewhere beneath all that tarmac as you drive past the mighty Cathedral!

AuthorPollyanna Jones 2 years ago from United Kingdom
Thanks folks for all of your comments. I really enjoyed exploring the dig site and it’s been a pleasure to share my expertise with others who weren’t able to make it in the course of the time it was open.

John Hansen 2 years in the past from Queensland Australia
Very fascinating hub with nice pictures to assist inform the story. Remind me of watching “Time Team”. Voted up.

peachy 2 years in the past from Home Candy Dwelling
wow, the church is being buried beneath Awesome

Linda Crampton 2 years in the past from British Columbia, Canada
This may be very attention-grabbing, Pollyanna. Exploring archeological and historical proof is fascinating. I used to be so happy to listen to that the site is being lined in such away that it could possibly be opened up again.

RoadMonkey 2 years in the past
Very fascinating. It is fascinating to see issues that have been discarded as junk being wanted as treasures and useful symbols showing how life was once. Congratulations to the council for enabling visits to the site. Nice hub.

Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years in the past from High desert of Nevada.
I love to learn about archaeological digs and findings. This is a really attention-grabbing hub and that i enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the history lesson.

Don A. Hoglund 2 years in the past from Wisconsin Rapids
It is good to see the artifacts of the pat wher you’ll be able to relate them to the present. Thanks for showing this little bit of historical past.

FlourishAnyway 2 years in the past from USA
I used to be fascinated by this. As you peel the layers of onion skin from history it becomes richer and more telling about what individuals experienced. You are so lucky to have gotten a peek,

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