In 2018 Wessex Archaeology excavated beneath Kingston Buildings and Abbey Chambers in Bath, as part of their ongoing work for the Bath Abbey Footprint project. In January 2020 Wessex Archaeology published an exciting update on what they have called an ‘incredibly rare and important discovery’. Their team identified two stone apsidal (semi-circular) structures, which they believe to be of Anglo-Saxon date. These remains were discovered below later medieval layers at Bath Abbey.
To date, no Anglo-Saxon stone buildings have been identified in Bath, and as such, the team required further supporting evidence to be sure of their discovery. Two charcoal fragments (imbedded within the internal plaster of the southern structure identified) were sent to Queen’s University Belfast for radiocarbon dating. The lab obtained dates from both samples, which fell within the period AD 780–970 and AD 670–770.
That the excavated structures are also surrounded by late Anglo-Saxon burials provides increasingly strong evidence that the team have found part of Bath’s Anglo-Saxon monastery, where Edgar was crowned as first King of England.