Possible remains of earlier building found in archaeological dig at Albrighton - in pictures
An archaeological dig on the site of an old market hall has uncovered possible remains of an even earlier building.
Historians, archaeologists and schoolchildren were thrilled during the first day of the dig on Albrighton village green when, five layers down, they discovered a compacted earth floor.
The excavation, over the weekend, was organised after last year's dry summer led to a strange patchwork on the grass - an indication that it was the site of an historic building.
John Stretton, chairman of Albrighton & District Historical Society said the group joined forces with the Wolverhampton Archaeology Group for the three day dig.
Mr Stretton said: "Local historians have long known about a medieval market hall that existed in Albrighton in 1810.
"The history of Albrighton by Blakeway, written in the early 19th century, notes that the market hall and toll shop, which took the fees for the market, stood on land opposite the Crown Inn. There was also a Belfry with a bell in it."
He said the dig had turned up some exciting finds.
"We found evidence of where the column for one of the arches of the market hall stood, red floor tiles and also roof tiles as well as some brick," added Mr Stretton.
"On the first day, when we had 15 children from the primary school with us, we found small broken pieces of pottery dating back to between 1290-1550 and lots of broken tobacco clay pipes dating back to between 1650-1750 as well as very old glass.
"The children were involved with the sifting and the washing of the finds. They were extremely helpful.
"Most interesting was when we got to the fifth later down we found a beaten earth floor and another wall. Potentially it could be that we found an earlier building which had the market hall or toll shop built on top of it."
Albrighton was granted a royal charter to hold markets and fairs in 1232.
"The centre of the village was originally where the church and manor house was," said Mr Stretton.
"But the construction of the market hall on the crossroads moved the village and shops built up around the market."
Organisers of the dig hope there will be more excavations in future.
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