Ancient human remains moved from site of new Wolverhampton market
A total of 12 sets of ancient human remains have been found on the site of a new market in Wolverhampton.
Work on the £4.9 million city centre market on the site of the former Netto shop in Cleveland Street was stalled for several weeks last month following the discovery of a single set of remains.
Traders were due to move in July, but this was thrown into doubt when the ancient artefacts were uncovered.
Wolverhampton council received permission from the Ministry of Justice to exhume the bones, and ended up finding 12 bodies which they needed to move to continue with the construction of the market.
It was originally feared the exhuming work would delay the opening of the market site, but the council said this was not the case.
A spokesman for Wolverhampton council said: "Our team of archaeologists have worked tirelessly to remove 12 sets of remains disturbed by our works, while any other remains will be left undisturbed.
"Although historic maps show no record of a burial ground, we know an 18th century chapel once stood where the new market is being developed and registrar records indicate the remains are associated with it."
Work started on the market back in October last year, and will boast 20 cabins and 48 stalls.
It will also offer flexibility to trade from bigger cabins, event space, a secure site with measures in place to combat hostile vehicles while still allowing access for traders to load and unload, CCTV, integrated lighting and power, free Wifi, canopy covered walkways, offices, customer toilets, and comprehensive parking and storage facilities.
It will be one of three markets in Wolverhampton, with Bilston and Wednesfield markets also popular places to shop.
The removed remains at the site will be re-buried at one of the city's cemeteries, with a service to be conducted by Rev David Wright, Rector of St Peter’s Church in Wolverhampton.
Archaeologists will remain at the site for the remainder of the project, and contractors will now be working weekends to ensure the city centre market still opens as planned on July 17.