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Chapel uncovered after Telford excavation work

Telford | News | Published:

A medieval Shropshire chapel has been unearthed in a county churchyard after excavation work was carried out at the site.

A medieval Shropshire chapel has been unearthed in a county churchyard after excavation work was carried out at the site.

Some 13th century masonry, crypts and carved statues which were previously unrecorded have been uncovered at Wombridge Parish Church in Telford.

The Reverend Kevin Evans said that he was now recruiting volunteers and applying for a £300,000 grant to fully uncover a forgotten part of Telford history.

He said: "When I came here in 1998 I knew there was something buried beneath the trees and ivy behind the church.

"I had read reports and heard rumours about an ancient chapel hidden there, but never had the means to do anything about it.

"There was a priory here in the 1100s which we have information about, but information on the 'Lady Chapel' is thin on the ground.

"Last year Telford & Wrekin Council asked me if I needed any help around the church as part of the Community Payback Scheme. I jumped at the chance.

"The team worked so hard and they uncovered more than I ever imagined, and the further we dug the more we discovered.

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"We have so far found the chapel alter, ancient archways, original plaster work and sculptures. There is also an ancient crypt we want to uncover. There is just so much to do, at least three years work."

According to viable records a priory existed on the site in 1186 with the Lady Chapel constructed between 1282 and 1320. It endured a turbulent history and was raided for material to help build Apley Castle.

Mr Evans hopes to convince a panel from Veolia Environmental Services in June to give the church £300,000 so the site can be fully excavated and turned into a community project.

He added: "I want to bring this piece of history out of the ground and get the local community involved. I want to turn the site into a community museum. If anyone wishes to get involved then please feel free to contact me."

To contact Mr Evans call (01952) 613334.

By Peter Finch

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