Oxford Archaeology with Humber Field Archaeology are undertaking the largest scientific excavation of a post-medieval burial ground in northern England. The burial ground, belonging to the parish church of Holy Trinity (Hull Minster), was in use between 1783 and 1861 and contains funerary remains representing a cross-section of Hull’s population during that time.

Trinity Burial Ground lies partially within Highways England’s £355m improvement scheme and a substantial archaeological investigation is taking place at the former Trinity Burial Ground on Castle Street to allow the funerary remains to be carefully and respectfully excavated. Afterwards, the remaining area of the burial ground will be restored, and the human remains will be reburied.

We started preliminary archaeological works in 2015, and are due to complete the excavation later in 2021, which will lead to several years of offsite analysis and reporting.

The investigations are being carried out under a Faculty (licence) from the Diocese of York by Oxford Archaeology-Humber Field Archaeology on behalf of Balfour Beatty. We are working closely with the church and with heritage and monitoring bodies, such as Historic England and Hull City Council.

Our archaeologists, following strict social-distancing rules, began work on site last year and the team will increase up to 90 over the course of the excavation. Two large tents, big enough to cover most of a full-sized professional football pitch, are providing privacy and protection of the excavation areas.

The study of a sample of funerary remains from the site will provide a wealth of information about the lives of the full spectrum of Hull society at a time when the town’s population was rapidly expanding as commercial and industrial activity intensified during the Georgian and Victorian periods.

For more information about the site and our initial findings, you can visit the newly launched Highways England webpages about the project: https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/a63-castle-street-archaeology/

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