HUMAN and animal bones were some of the finds recovered during ongoing restoration work at Hereford Cathedral.

Archaeological remains appeared as builders lifted parts of the existing floor of St John's Walk.

Under the supervision of the Cathedral archaeologist, Richard Morriss, the area was thoroughly investigated and a number of finds were recovered including human and animal bones, pieces of clay pipe, pottery and oyster shells.

Mr Morriss said: "They do reveal some tantalising clues to the past lives of the vicars choral for whom St John’s Walk was originally built.

"Unfortunately it appears that the finds are mixed up from different periods of history, so dating many of them will be impossible.

“Some of the items have already proved fascinating such as the copper stylus for marking parchment, and the fragment of a large tankard, suggestive of ale-drinking, which I am sure the vicars choral who lived in the cloisters would have enjoyed.”

At the southern end of St John’s Walk, nearest the Vicars’ Choral College and the river, archaeologists uncovered evidence of an earlier structure.

Foundations of a wall dating from the 1400s and large pieces of decorated daub may have come from a high-status building demolished to make way for the college, which was built around 1470.

Evidence of industrial activity has also been recovered from the area which offers a hint at even more previous uses of the site. It links to similar discoveries made during archaeological work undertaken by Headland Archaeology as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of the Cathedral Close. The finds were presented in the book Death in the Close: a Medieval Mystery published earlier this year.

The new slabs are now in place on St John's Walk and an analysis of the finds has begun. The human bone will all be re-interred once this is complete.

Talks are being planned so members of the public can find out more about the insights into the Cathedral's history being discovered during the work to St John’s Walk.

These will culminate in an exhibition and conference at Hereford Cathedral in autumn 2016.

The restoration of St John’s Walk is the core of a wider project which, as well as conserving the building and illuminating the carved timbers of the roof, will enable visitors of all ages to learn about the history of the site.