Human skeletons discovered underneath former department store in Gloucestershire

Care is being taken to ensure any ancient remains are carefully excavated, recorded and preserved. Credit: Shelley Fowler

Ancient human skeletons have been discovered underneath a former department store in Gloucestershire.

The former Debenhams site in King’s Square, Gloucester, is being transformed into a new city campus for the University of Gloucestershire.

The rich history of the land at the site was uncovered in July 2022, when the University commissioned Cotswold Archaeology to carry out an evaluation of the area.

A new University of Gloucestershire campus is being built on the site Credit: University of Gloucestershire

The team working on the project has said the discovery of human remains is "expected" and that there have been a number of "exciting" recent finds at the site in addition.

Shelley Fowler, who works in Kings Square, spotted the remains from her office window on the morning of Thursday 4 May.

She told ITV West Country: "I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked out the window, I had a great view!

"They'd found more remains by the time I'd returned to the property later on."

A number of human skeletons were uncovered over the course of the day Credit: Shelley Fowler

In response to the findings, Dr Nigel Wichall, Director of Estates at the University of Gloucestershire, told ITV West Country: "We revealed last year that there is a medieval church and 18th Century crypt that is linked to the demolished St Aldate's Church, under part of the site.

"This was clear from both the heritage report and our early excavations.

"As expected, we continue to find ancient remains as the project moves forward.

"The remains we have found over a number of months have not yet been dated and Cotswold Archaeology is helping us to ensure any ancient remains are carefully excavated, recorded and preserved."