Medieval Newport friary unearthed in city centre Friars Walk site
Updated 3:21pm Friday 7th March 2014 in Gwent news
ARCHAEOLOGISTS working on the Friars Walk site in the city centre have uncovered what is thought to be part of a 600-year-old medieval friary that once stood in Newport.
Newport council says archaeological evidence has been found after an investigation spanning the past few weeks.
But unlike the discovery of the Newport Ship more than 10 years ago, this find was expected.
A spokeswoman for the council says the find will not have an impact on the development, which is hoped will be open by Spring 2016 at the latest.
It’s believed that the archaeological remains are from the friary that once stood at the location of the now demolished Newport bus station.
A house of the Friars Eremites of St Augustine, also known as Austin Friars, was founded in Newport by the second Earl of Stafford in 1377.
The friary was surrendered to the agent of Henry VIII in 1538, but the building itself survived into the 19th century.
That was until the former Newport Corporation demolished it in 1860.
A Newport council spokeswoman said: “As a planned part of Queensberry’s development of the Friars Walk Scheme an archaeological investigation has been underway for the past few weeks to locate any historic buildings on the site.
“Archaeological remains have been found exactly where expected and, working with experts, investigations will continue to fully uncover and record what has been found.
“This is a normal part of any city centre development.
“As noted, this work was planned, what has been found was expected, and will not impact on the programme.”
The Argus revealed earlier this week that the Friars Walk development will create work for 650 people at its peak.
Most of the workers are expected to come from Wales.
Friars Walk was secured after Newport council agreed to loan £90 million to developers Queensberry.
Newport council is itself borrowing the money from the Public Works Loan Board, while Welsh Government funding got demolition work under way.
Newport’s Capitol Car Park was spectacularly demolished with explosives back in January, and much of the site including the former bus station has now been cleared.
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