Mass grave with 300 skeletons discovered under former Pembrokeshire department store

A mass grave with 300 skeletons has been discovered under a former department store in Pembrokeshire.

Builders working on a food complex have accidentally discovered the remains of hundreds of humans at the site under the old Ocky Whites building in Haverfordwest.

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The team found what they believe to be a crushed patterned dishCredit: Ymddiriedolaeth Archaelegol Dyfed Archaeological Trust
The remains of 300 people, including children, have been unearthed by archaeologists

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The remains of 300 people, including children, have been unearthed by archaeologists1 credit
Some of the finds from the excavation of the former Ocky White department store

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Some of the finds from the excavation of the former Ocky White department store1 credit

Archaeologists who have invested the site have since discovered that half of the remains belong to children.

Historians believe the ancient cemetery dates back over 600 years.

The ruins are thought to come from the mysterious Saint-Sauveur priory, founded by an order of Dominican monks around 1256.

Site supervisor Andrew Shobbrook of the Dyfed Archaeological Trust said: “It’s quite a prestigious place to be buried. You have a range of people from wealthy to general city dwellers.”

Mystery over a mass grave with 80 skeletons whose hands are tied behind their backs
A strange pink sarcophagus

A number of theories are explored as to how the site was used.

One idea is that the site was turned into a mass grave after a raid on the city by Welsh Prince Owain Glyndwr in the early 15th century.

It is possible the site was used for burials as late as the 18th century, MailOnline reported.

Mr Shobbrook said: ‘We know the town was besieged in 1405 by Owain Glyndr and they could be victims of this conflict.’

The bones are currently being examined by a team of archaeologists and will later be buried in a suitable location nearby.

A crushed patterned dish with a crushed chalice underneath was found buried in a person’s hands.

Dfyed Archeology thinks this could represent someone who considers him important.

In a Twitter post, the organization said, “We’re excited to do more research on this one.”

Archaeologist Gaby Lester said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be involved in something so big.

“The site is proving to be an important part of the history of Haverfordwest and Pembrokeshire.

“It can be a bit overwhelming at times, but it’s also humbling to be part of that person’s journey.”

The site is known as Ocky Whites after the department store that once occupied the space.

Ocky White was a popular shopping complex for over 100 years before its premises closed in 2013 costing 40 people their jobs.

A rooftop bar and patio will sit atop a three-story food and beverage store when completed.

It comes after the discovery of a mysterious mass grave containing 80 bodies that was discovered at a construction site sparked demands for answers.

Some of the skeletons were found with their hands tied behind their backs at West End Farm near Buckingham.

The disturbing discovery was made during archaeological work at the site ahead of the planned construction of a retirement home.

Archaeologists believe that the ruins come from the Saint-Sauveur priory

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Archaeologists believe that the ruins come from the Saint-Sauveur priory1 credit
Ocky White was a popular shop for over a century before its riverside premises closed

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Ocky White was a popular shop for over a century before its riverside premises closed1 credit