No One Knew There Were Dozens of Human Bodies Buried Under This Hotel Pool for Centuries
Developers at the former Newington Hotel on Mount Vale Drive in York, England got quite the surprise this week while renovating the property’s old pool.
According to reports, as construction workers dug into the Georgian building to make way for new family homes, they were met with dozens of skeletal remains of what are believed to be Roman-era men, women, and children.
“The refurb has not been without its issues,” John Reeves, chairman of developers the Helmsley Group, told Daily Mail. “To start with there were over 60 Roman skeletons found under the old swimming pool, in what was an extension to a Roman burial ground further up Mount Vale. All had to be painstakingly removed, catalogued and investigated by the archaeological trust.”
According to Daily Mail, some remains date back as far as 50 B.C. and even had large copper head pieces still buried alongside them.
But, according to David Scott from the York Archaeological Trust, these skeletons shouldn’t have really been that big of a surprise to the developers.
“The hotel is adjacent to a cemetery excavated by L P Wenham in the 1950s and it was one of the first Romano-British burial grounds to be fully published in this country,” he said. “The site also lies about 300 meters from a previous excavation in 2004 and 2005 famously uncovered the graves of over 30 decapitated Romans, a number of whom were interpreted as possible gladiators.The excavations lasted three months and 75 graves have been recorded by the trust.”
He added that the graves were, for the most part, extremely shallow meaning that many of them had been damaged by plowing throughout the medieval period and by 19th-century construction.
Furthermore, according to Wenham, the male skeletons found at the hotel site each showed blunt force trauma. One even displayed a bite by a large predator, perhaps a lion or bear, meaning they were likely used as gladiators.
So now, the real question: Would you want to move into such a historic — and potentially haunted — place?