A team from the University have this summer been re-investigating a site within the medieval churchyards of St Mary and St Ethelburga church in Lyminge, Kent.
Their dig has unearthed an Anglo-Saxon building on site. The building style suggests it was founded by Ethelburga, a princess of Kent and Queen of Northumbria in the 7th Century.
This excavation work on one of England’s first stone churches has unearthed further details about the link early English Christianity had with France. The University deduced that the stonemasons were bought from France for the construction of this building, from the distinctive pink mortar made from crushed Roman brick and lime.
Excavation director Dr Gabor Thomas said: “The level of survival on this site is more than I had hoped for.” He said the finds “entirely justified” the re-investigation of a site which was first examined in the 1850s.
Dr Thomas, who lectures in archaeology at the University of Reading, said it was “hugely beneficial” to use modern techniques on an “internationally important site”.
The excavation is part of a much larger community-based project called Pathways to the Past: Exploring the Legacy of Ethelburga, which is being carried out by the church council.