Two coffins were found at Gorleston pub work site

Two coffins with human remains inside were found at the site in Gorleston where a new JD Wetherspoon pub is being built on, it has been confirmed.

Last month construction of the £1.5m Williams Adams pub off the High Street was temporarily halted after a crypt believed to contain two bodies was found by workmen on the site which used to be a Methodist Chapel.

Confirmation that two coffins were found in the bricked-up crypt has been given by Norfolk County Council, which says the bodies may be less than 100 years old.

David Robertson, acting senior historic environment officer at Norfolk County Council, said: “The bricked-up entrance to the crypt has recently been revealed.

“Two coffins and their contents are still inside and we believe the remains could be less than 100 years old, in which case there may be still be living relatives whose wishes will need to be considered.

“What happens to the coffins and their contents once they have been exhumed will depend on the nature of what is discovered and ongoing discussions with the local Methodist community.

“The developers and their contractors are treating the crypt and its contents very sensitively, ensuring they are fully respected and all legislation and best practice is fully adhered to.”

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Last month contractors employed by JD Wetherspoon started using lighter machinery under the supervision of archaeologists at the site off the High Street after the crypt was found.

An exhumation licence has been applied for.

JD Wetherspoon say the William Adams is now due to open in November.

Originally it had been planned to open this month, but that date was then put back to October.

It had been originally planned to open on July 18 and the pub is named after a local 19th century life-saving bathing attendant credited with saving 140 people from drowning in the 1800s.

It will have cafe-style pavement seating to the front, an enclosed beer garden to the rear left side and create 45 jobs.

The Methodist chapel which had been on the site was built in 1844. It changed hands a number of times before being damaged by bombing and fire and subsequently closed.

The building was later sold in 1959 for £700. The land was last in use as GT Motors.

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