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‘St Edburg’s bones’ were faked in the 13th century
A YEAR ago archaeologists believed they had made an exciting discovery under a former block of flats about to be redeveloped.
Wrapped in a lead sheet were bones believed to be the remains of Bicester’s Patron Saint, St Edburg, thought to have lived in the seventh century.
But after specialist carbon dating it has been revealed the bones were not that of the saint but in fact “medieval fakes”.
A “medieval fake” is when people moved the bones of saints or other important figures to other places of worship in the medieval period and replaced them with another skeleton.
About 13 other skeletons were also found at the former Bryan House, in Chapel Street, and were believed to date back to the 14th century.
John Moore, of Beckley-based John Moore Heritage Services, said the St Edburg find dated to the 13th century and confirmed it was a “medieval fake”.
On Friday, people were given a chance to view some of the artefacts found during archaeological dig at the site last August as Bicester’s first 23 eco homes were officially opened.
The 23 new homes have been built to sustainability code four and five and are a mix of rented and shared ownership properties.
Homes include energy efficient features such as solar panels within the tiles, triple glazed windows, underfloor heating, rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing, and high levels of insulation.
Housing association Sanctuary has led the £3.3m project, which has been part funded by Cherwell District Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.
MP Sir Tony Baldry and 10-year-old Joseph Tassell, who won a competition to design an eco-home, opened the development.
Sir Tony said: “It is fantastic to see this development completed. I have followed the project from the very beginning and I think the final result is really very impressive.”
Jonathan Mullins, head of development Midlands for Sanctuary, said: “These homes contain some of the latest energy efficient technology and highly insulated building fabric, which are not only environmentally friendly, they should also help our new residents’ save money on their fuel bills.”
Debbie Pickford,the council’s lead member for housing, said: These homes are the most energy efficient homes ever delivered in the district and I look forward to the results of the energy monitoring that is taking place.”
Two of the homes will now be the centre of a six month study by a team at Oxford Brookes University to see if the green features actually make a difference.