Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 15:40 UK

Rare tiles unearthed at palace

Valencian tiles
The tiles have only been found at a few other UK locations

Rare Valencian tiles have been uncovered by archaeologists during excavations at the ruins of a Surrey palace, once owned by Henry VIII.

The items, which were made in Valencia, Spain, between 1450 and 1490, were discovered at Woking Palace.

More than 100 members of the public took part in the dig at the palace, which fell into disrepair in 1620 and was later virtually demolished.

The teams also uncovered evidence of earlier medieval buildings.

Woking Palace, near Old Woking, was first documented in 1272 and used as a royal residence from about 1466.

'Exciting finds'

It was converted into a palace by Henry VII, and later altered by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

But by the mid 17th Century the palace had been abandoned and virtually ruined.

Surrey County Archaeological Society, which is part of the Surrey County Council, organised the excavations which will be the focus of a lecture series in November.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: "The teams uncovered walls of the Palace of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Elizabeth, and evidence for earlier medieval buildings.

"The most exciting finds were rare Valencian tiles which were made in Valencia, Spain. They have only been found in a few other locations across the UK, according to the archaeologists working at the dig site."

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