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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 March, 2005, 20:26 GMT
Dig uncovers market cross remains
Market Cross Norwich, courtesy of Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service Online Picture Norfolk collection.
In 1732 the cross was pulled down and the stone sold for 125
Archaeologists excavating Norwich market before refurbishment work begins have uncovered the foundations of the medieval Market Cross.

An original cross was built in 1411 and stood 60ft tall, dominating the market.

The last structure stood opposite what is now Davey Place and featured a chapel on top of a plinth 30ft wide.

David Adams site manager of the Norwich Market Archaeology Project said: "It is an octagonal building demolished in the 1730s but it is fantastic to see it."

The cross was on the site for 200 years and Mr Adams said "it was the beating heart of the market".

Archeologists were concerned that the foundations of the cross could have been destroyed by landscaping work over the centuries.

Site was levelled

The Cross was expensive to maintain and over the years the citizens were taxed to raise funds for its repair.

In 1732 it was pulled down, the stone sold for 125 and the site levelled.

Norwich market, established between 1071 and 1074, is one of the oldest and largest in England.

The archaeologists have been given about six weeks to record any features before any deposits are destroyed.

Keyhole excavations in Autumn 2004 demonstrated that surfaces and waste pits dating to the 15th and 16th Centuries lie close to the present surface.
Norwich market dig
Remains of the Cross could have been destroyed by landscaping.

County archaeologist Brian Ayers said: "Norwich Market Place is of European significance.

"It was the commercial centre of the largest city in medieval England with trading links from Scandinavia to Spain.

"Traders have been using this space for nearly 1000 years and it will be marvellous to compare modern practice to that of the Middle Ages."

New market stall goes on display
21 Dec 04 |  Norfolk

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