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Churchyard of St James' Church, Louth



Reference Name MLI43403

Name:
Churchyard of St James' Church, Louth

Summary:
Churchyard of St James' Church, Louth

Location:
LOUTH, EAST LINDSEY, LINCOLNSHIRE

Description:
PRN 43403
During salvage excavations in 1995, centred on TF3265 8734, skeletal remains of at least five individuals were identified, some of which were re-deposited. There was evidence for at least one grave, and all of the burials were orientated east/west. The soil containing the bones also sealed a pit containing sherds of a thirteenth century jug. It is assumed that the site was once possibly part of the churchyard of St James' Church (PRN 41404), which lies approximately 20m to the north, and the evidence from the pit has been taken to suggest that the churchyard and possibly the church did not exist before this date.{1}{2} However, there is evidence to suggest that a church stood on this site from 1170 {3}, and burials from immediately adjacent to the church had pottery dating from the twelfth century in their graves (see below). This would suggest that perhaps the churchyard did perhaps not extend as far as TF3265 8734 until the thirteenth century or later.{4}
A watching brief conducted in the churchyard in 1999 recorded a series of burials and other features. An undated wall west of the church tower had three surviving courses and was thought to be an earlier precinct wall; although its alignment did not relate to either the church or current road, the graveyard terminates at this point. A large structure of limestone and mortar was recorded to the south-west of the church; although its full extent could not be established, its scale was potentially monumental and it is possible that it relates to one of the earlier churches on this site.{5}{6}
Twenty-three articulated burials and a large quantity of disarticulated human remains were recovered for reburial without analysis. An apparent concentration of burials to the west was merely a result of increasing trench depth. All the burials were extended east/west aligned inhumations, with heads to the west. Individual grave cuts were impossible to discern, but coffin nails were recovered from three graves, suggesting the presence of coffins at burial. Pottery and tile in four graves ranged from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries. A group of four skulls adjacent to the west wall (two disarticulated, two probably the west ends of burials) demonstrate that further human remains lie in the northern part of the churchyard adjacent to the west wall. No human remains were uncovered south of the tower or south of the possible precinct wall, or in the southern part of the churchyard adjacent to the west wall.{5}{6}
A watching brief was undertaken at St James Church, Louth during the excavation of two pits and cabling for exterior floodlighting. In pit 16 (west of tower) 3 burials were uncovered which comprized of two juveniles and one adult. There was also pottery and tile fragments dating from the 13th to 18th century. There was also a quantity of disarticulated human bone. Pit 17 (also west of tower and to the southwest of pit 16) contained three futher burials without any associated pottery or tile. There was additional disarticulated human bone in this pit. {7} {8}

Sources:
1 Intervention Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. July 1996. Residential development in 10A Upgate, Louth. LUG95
2 Excavation archive: Lindsey Archaeological Services. July 1996. Residential development 10A Upgate, Louth. LCNCC 207.95
3 Bibliographic reference: FIELD, F.N.. 1978. LOUTH: THE HIDDEN TOWN. p. 15
4 Verbal communication: Stephenson, Jill. 29/10/2002. St James' churchyard, Louth. 29/10/2002
5 Intervention Report: Pre-Construct Archaeology. April 1999. St James' Church, Louth. SJL99
6 Excavation archive: Pre-Construct Archaeology. April 1999. St James' Church, Louth. LCNCC 36.99
7 Intervention Report: Mike Jarvis Archaeological Services. Jun 2005. Watching brief at St James Church, Louth. SJL04
8 Excavation archive: Mike Jarvis Archaeological Services. Jun 2005. Watching brief at St James Church, Louth. LCNCC 2004:269

Links:
Lincolnshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external weblinks.
The following reports are available from the ADS digital library.
1 Intervention Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. July 1996. Residential development in 10A Upgate, Louth. LUG95
5 Intervention Report: Pre-Construct Archaeology. April 1999. St James' Church, Louth. SJL99
7 Intervention Report: Mike Jarvis Archaeological Services. Jun 2005. Watching brief at St James Church, Louth. SJL04

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Last updated: 24-July-2015 13:25:24

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