ONE of the finest collections of medieval abbey tiles in the country has been discovered at Abbey College in Ramsey. Over the years the tiles have been found in various parts of the school grounds, but it was not until the county archaeologists became inv
ONE of the finest collections of medieval abbey tiles in the country has been discovered at Abbey College in Ramsey.
Over the years the tiles have been found in various parts of the school grounds, but it was not until the county archaeologists became involved that everyone realised how important a find the tiles were.
The archaeologists were exploring the site before the start of buillding on the new £1.7 million Abbey College science block. They were interested in that particular area of the school grounds as it was thought that the medieval abbey's pottery kilns were originally situated there.
It was then that Barry Williams, history teacher at both Ailwyn School and Abbey College, showed them the collection of tiles which had been gathered over the years. Most of these tiles had been found by students. Dr Paul Spoerry, principal archaeologist for CAM ARC, the County Archaeological Field Unit, said the tiles were one of the finest collections of medieval abbey tiles that he had ever seen.
The tiles are thought to date from the 13th and 14th centuries when Ramsey Abbey was one of the most powerful establishments in the country.
Mr Williams said: "Over the years the school has amassed a vast collection of tiles, most of them broken, but several complete tiles have been lent to the County Archaeological Field Unit. We use the tiles as a curriculum resource for the students to experience history in a "hands on" way.
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