Project Pilgrim Manager, Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral first worked with Border Archaeology in 2015 during the development phase of our Heritage Lottery Funded Project Pilgrim. Border carried out a number of trial investigations both inside the Cathedral and outside in the Close. They worked efficiently and with the minimum of disruption to the on-going daily life of what is simultaneously a place of worship, a grade one listed building and the county’s most popular tourist destination. Inside the Cathedral, Border discovered William Lisle’s elaborately decorated coffin plus another partial coffin + contents adjacent to the Hyett Family Vault. Border’s expert testimony was included in a short BBC documentary which was produced about the Hyett family.
We were delighted to be able to re-appoint Border when we moved into the delivery phase of Project Pilgrim at the end of 2016. Border are carrying out more extensive archaeological investigations as one of the conditions of our Local Authority Planning consent and their work here walks a careful balance: maximising the Cathedral’s ability to “get on” with the main construction programme at the same time as ensuring any archaeology is located and recorded for future generations. The presence of human remains in an area which is part of the former lay cemetery has required further sensitive work from the team as well as strict compliance with the Church of England’s processes.
What’s proving particularly pleasing is that Border are as interested as we are in sharing news of their progress and finds: establishing a dedicated web-page and supporting our volunteer led tours and talks are just two of the ways they’ve gone the extra mile whilst working at Gloucester Cathedral.