Medieval jug to be shown off at The Herbert

Medieval artefacts dating back to when Coventry was one of the country’s most important cities have been handed over to The Herbert.

The collection was discovered by archaeologists during excavation work at Coombe Abbey Hotel, a former monastery.

Among the finds was a 13th century jug made in Nuneaton, a large collection of bowls and, bizarrely, piles of sheep feet.

Archaeologists believe that sheep skins, complete with feet, were sent to Coombe Abbey to produce parchment and the feet were discarded.

Hailing the discoveries, Paul Thompson, keeper of collections at The Herbert, in Jordan Well, said it was “absolutely vital” that local finds were displayed at the museum.

“This is such an important find and from such a popular place,” he said “ So many people visit Coombe Abbey and I hope these pieces will help people appreciate just what an important place it was.

“One shows a French influence and it’s incredibly rare that we find artefacts like this in Coventry.

“They will be a wonderful addition to our collection.”

Caroline Rann and Rob Jones, both from Warwickshire County Council’s archaeological projects group, took part in the dig.

“This monastery was a really rich place and these finds go back to a time when Coventry was the London of the Midlands,” Caroline said.

The dig took place before building work started on a new bedroom block at the hotel.

As well as the jugs and bowls, archaeologists found other key examples of monastic life –including evidence of a water management scheme.

The 13th century jug pictured was believed to have been made near the city, at Chilvers Coton in Nuneaton, and is a copy of a French design.

The artefacts will be available to view during the Coventry Conversation event at The Herbert on July 1.

The Herbert is one of four museums shortlisted for the £100,000 Art Fund Prize and staff are urging people to vote for them.

If you want to help them out, visit www.artfundprize.org.uk and head to the website’s voting section.

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