Adams Cottage













Builder Ross Phillips with one of the bones he dug up inside a house in Yarmouth - probably from an animal.

All's well that ends well after bones find

By Stephen Pullinger

Living in one of the oldest houses in Yarmouth, Roger and Barbara Welham are more than happy to tolerate a bit of .. character" .

They are not the slightest bit perturbed by the bricked-up tunnel leading straight under the graveyard into St Nicholas Church, nor the feelings of being watched and sudden cold sensations that have intrigued a succession of ghost hunters.

But despite an IS-year police career behind him, with more than one commendation for bravery, even Mr Welham, 62, was unprepared for the discovery made yesterday by builder Ross Phillips.

Starting work on constructing a downstairs shower room, the Amco builder dug into the floor of a back room in the 13th century cottage in Eden Place and found first an ancient Wall then a further level of floor - and finally a pile of old bones.

Mr Welham, 62, immediately called police after examining the bones and deciding some of them appeared to be human.

He said: "They did not appear that old to me. "We have only lived here three years. but I know there was a lot of 'Work done on the house in the 1950s. The bones look like they could be those of a Child and one of them appears to have been fractured."

As scenes-of-crime officers sealed off part of the house to begin their investigation, the former constable admitted it seemed like he could not leave his police career behind.

Three months ago he sparked a major bomb alert when he unearthed a 10mm shell on his Caister Road allotment ­ only days after he and his wife had taken it over.

Twelve police officers were drafted in and a wide area had to be evacuated before the bomb disposal squad arrived to thankfully declare the device safe.

On this occasion, the operation also ended uneventfully after a specialist police archaeologist, travelling from King's Lynn, declared the bones too old to be of concern and probably belonging to an animal such as a wolf.

Mrs Welham said: "He did at first identify some of the bones as human but carried out a further excavation before calling off the inquiry. He said we could put the bones back if we want to."

She said they had been astonished by the discovery because they thought the room had been a 1950s add-on to the house.

They now intended to wait for a visit by a council conservation officer on Monday before deciding whether to press ahead with the conversion to a shower room.

She said: "Part of the newly­ unearthed floor sounds hollow and we are intrigued to see what's underneath. possibly an old well."

BBC Media Report

Builders find bones in outhouse


Builders excavating the basement of one of the oldest buildings in a Norfolk port town uncovered bones which looked human and called police.

Adams Cottage in Eden Place at Great Yarmouth is thought to be several hundred years old.

Police called in an archaeologist to assess the bones as standard procedure.

He decided that they were not human and allowed excavations in a outbuilding to continue. Barbara Welham lives in the house and was shocked at the discovery.

She said a workman dug up a floor dating from the 1950s and uncovered the bones.

"As he dug down he picked out more and they looked like a hip joint, an arm and part of an elbow," she said.

"When he had picked up about four of the items we contacted the police and they sent an archaeologist to examine them."


This web site is a work in progress and will be updated when we have more information or photos 

Last updated 22/06/2007


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