Renovations In An Ancient Church Accidentally Revealed The Archaeological Find of The Decade

A museum in Scotland was sitting on a rare archaeological find, and never had any idea.

The Church of St. Mary, first built in the 11th century, was turned into a museum in the 1960s. Over the past couple of years they've been undergoing extensive renovations. During one of these, construction workers uncovered a monumental find.

They unearthed the tombs of 5 former archbishops of Canterbury, principal leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the Anglican church.


It's long been known that the church was near the historic residence of the sitting Archbishop, and many assumed he worshiped there. This is the first proof that Archbishops have actually been buried at the church.

The church is located near the River Thames and workers have long just assumed the foundation was packed with dirt to reduce the risk of flooding. During the course of the renovations workers had to lift giant flagstones from the floor, exposing the ground below.

Instead of finding dirt however, they found a hidden entrance to a strange room underneath the church.

The Sun

Inside they found 35 coffins, one of which had a solid gold miter sitting on top.

The coffins were helpfully labeled, which is how authorities know they contained archbishops.

One such coffin contained the remains of Richard Bancroft who died in 1610. He is known to have chaired the committee that wrote the King James Bible, the most known English translation of the bible.


The 30 other tombs were left undisturbed, however scientists may revisit them.

The entrance is now covered with a pane of glass so visitors can see in. The Museum is expected to reopen to visitors next month.