In 1485, there were 22 monks residing at Bath Abbey, the place where Edgar was crowned ‘King of the English’ in 973 AD. However, the abbey was in decline and by 1499, when Bishop Oliver King visited it, to his shock the building was ruinous. King began a rebuilding project, making it the last great medieval religious building erected in England.
Unfortunately, from this time forward there were upwards of 4000 burials placed beneath the floor, which has caused it, in modern times, to sink and become unstable, with large craters and gaps forming underneath through subsidence. Archaeologists have therefore been called in to excavate in anticipation of repairing and consolidating the dangerous floor.
Besides human remains and coffins from the 1500’s to Victorian times, they have also uncovered beautiful and well-preserved floor tiles from the earlier medieval abbey. These date to the 12th or 13th C and the colours are still remarkably vivid and bright.