Medieval headless Virgin Mary unearthed in Lincoln

Artefacts dating back to the Roman period have been discovered during an archaeological dig as part of the Lincoln University Technical College (UTC) construction project.

The most significant discovery is a medieval stone sculpture of the Virgin Mary and Christ (PIETA), thought to be from the 15th century.

It was discovered behind a stone wall on a part of the site located closest to Lincoln Cathedral.

The dig phase of the project may last up to several months with around 2,000 cubic metres of soil requiring removal, with a lot being removed by hand.

The £6.65m Willmott Dixon project will see the construction of a brand new building and the rennovation one Grade II listed building on the Greestone Centre site.

These two buildings will make up Lincoln UTC, a specialist engineering and science college, and will be ready for full time use from September 2015.

Lincoln UTC designs by John Roberts Architects

Lincoln UTC designs by John Roberts Architects

As part of the project, Willmott Dixon is also refurbishing Chad Varah House, which will be used to house the UTC temporarily for one year until September 2015.

Lincoln UTC will open to school 200 students aged 14 to 18 years, with its intake increasing to up to 640 from September 2017.

Nick Heath, East Midlands operations director at Willmott Dixon, said: “Excavating the site’s surroundings is a key part of this project’s first stage. We are working to ensure that we carefully remove anything of potential historical significance whilst also maintaining the project timeframe that we have put in place with UTC.

“This will become such an important facility for Lincolnshire so we’re very pleased to be involved.”

Dr Rona Mackenzie, Principal of Lincoln UTC, added: “We are very excited about the refurbishment of the Greestone Centre and believe it will be an essential element of our work to inspire and nurture a generation of engineering and scientific talent from across the Lincolnshire region.”