THE discovery of an apparent Anglo-Saxon grave underneath a church could be proof of the siting of a Seventh Century monastery.
The find, which archaeologists are describing as “exciting”, was unearthed while work is being done to St Hilda’s Church, on Hartlepool’s Headland.
The floor has been taken up at the historic church to make way for a new heating system, and experts at Tees Archaeology have been at the church for recording purposes working on two areas measuring 27ft by 27ft.
As well as the Anglo-Saxon grave, another six, believed to date between the 1600s and 1900s, were also found, as well as various loose bones.
Dr Steve Sherlock, of Tees Archaeology, said: “It’s an exciting thing.
“We hope to do more work to understand it.
“It’s always presumed that there was a church here in Norman times in 1066.