Memorial honours bodies found during Gorleston Wetherspoons pub construction

Minister Katy Dunn, archaeologist Dennis Payne and Funeral Administrator Debbie Bishop from Central

Minister Katy Dunn, archaeologist Dennis Payne and Funeral Administrator Debbie Bishop from Central England Co-operative Funeralcare Gorleston with the new memorial Picture: Central England Co-operative - Credit: Archant

A ceremony was held in Gorleston to mark the unveiling of a headstone honouring a man and a woman whose bodies were found during the construction of a pub.

Members of the community gathered together to support the unveiling of a new memorial to an unknown

Members of the community gathered together to support the unveiling of a new memorial to an unknown man and woman whose bodies were found during the construction of a new pub in Gorleston Picture: Central England Co-operative - Credit: Archant

The human remains were found by workmen in June in a crypt beneath the site of the new William Adams JD Wetherspoon pub.

Dennis Payne, an archeologist hired by the pub chain company, subsequently ascertained they were the bodies of a man and woman, thought to have died between 1850 and 1880.

The bodies were then exhumed from the former Methodist chapel site and reburied at the Gorleston Old Cemetery in Magdalen Way.

In the intervening period, Debbie Bishop, funeral administrator at Co-operative Funeralcare in Church Lane, set about working with various partners to establish a lasting memorial to the two.

A tent is erected on the site of the Gorleston Wetherspoon pub after the crypt discovery. Picture: D

A tent is erected on the site of the Gorleston Wetherspoon pub after the crypt discovery. Picture: Dennis Payne - Credit: Dennis Payne

On Tuesday, archaeologist Mr Payne and minister, Rev Katy Dunn, joined members of the community for a service, marking the unveiling of the headstone, which was provided by Abbey Memorials.

Mrs Bishop said: “As soon as we heard about what had been uncovered as part of the building work we knew we had to do something to honour these people.

“So, after the pair had been given new resting places in Gorleston Old Cemetery, we worked with several people and groups in the area to ensure that the couple would have a lasting memorial to mark where they were buried.

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“I would like to say a big thank you to Dennis Payne, Minister Katy Dunn and Abbey Memorials for all their help and support in making this possible.

Bodies were discovered on the site of the Gorleston Wetherspoons, Picture: Dennis Payne

Bodies were discovered on the site of the Gorleston Wetherspoons, Picture: Dennis Payne - Credit: Dennis payne

“We are proud to be part of the community in Gorleston and proud to have worked with others in the area to help honour this man and woman.

“The service to mark the unveiling of the memorial was very well attended and we thank everyone who took time to come along.”

Rev Dunn said: “We are grateful to Central England Co-op for their time and effort in arranging a memorial stone for these two people.

“We don’t know their names, but they lived here and maybe their descendants still do. It’s good to remember them and to have this new memorial stone to mark their lives.”