St Albans glass beads

These blue glass beads were discovered in one of the graves excavated at St Albans and, as reported by BBCNews, they pose quite a puzzle.

The Canterbury Archaeological Trust has been excavating the site for three months ahead of the construction of a new visitor centre.

Records suggest the remains of 170 people were interred in the church yard which dates from about 1750 to 1850.

Scientific analysis

Mr Lane said the beads were “wrapped” round the right hand of a “young individual” and left “trailing down their leg”.

“This would be a Catholic thing… it’s a mystery,” he said.

“There could be several reasons for it, it could be an earlier burial, or it could be that this was a visitor to St Albans from further afield and they’ve just been caught in an epidemic and buried.”

St Albans Cathedral dates from Norman times and is the oldest place of continuous Christian worship in the country.

It stands on the site where Britain’s first saint, St Alban, a citizen of Roman Verulamium, was martyred by the Romans.

Earlier this month, archaeologists uncovered the lost grave of Abbot Wheathampstead at the site.

Source: Canterbury Archaeological Trust