COINS, pottery and tiles have been unearthed by archaeologists investigating what lies beneath the ground in front of Chester Cathedral.
The work is being carried out to help develop the design for a new visitor entrance in front of the existing south west transept door.
To date, seven trenches have been opened including three in the area adjoining St Werburgh Street where coins have been found from the 1930s.
The lower layer probably dates from the restoration of the Cathedral in the late nineteenth century and finds here include tiles, masonry fragments, coins and pottery.
Below this nineteenth century layer there is a mixture of Roman and medieval finds, including amphora handles and fragments of Roman Samian ware as well as a medieval lead weight.
One of the trenches contains a potential hard surface and the archaeologists are working to establish a date for this.
To the south east of the Cathedral in the area around the Regimental garden, four trenches have been dug and the presence of archaeology has been established but this is not unexpected in this area.
Caroline Raynor, project officer from Oxford Archaeology North said: “The finds demonstrate Roman and medieval activity but this is not unexpected given the area we are excavating.”
The work will continue for several weeks.
Plans for the £7.5m Cathedral Quarter Phase One scheme are due to be submitted in the autumn. Aside from the new entrance, it is hoped to open a cafe in the Bell Tower and allow visitors to climb the Tower to gain panoramic views of the city. The aim is to attract an extra 130,000 visitors a year.