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Remains found on city school site linked to Knights Templar.

Byline: Simon Gilbert Chief Reporter simon.gilbert@coventrytelegraph.net

MYSTERY surrounds archeological remains found on a site being developed for Coventry's newest secondary school.

The remains, apparently of a building, have been found under the car park of the former Land Registry site, on Torrington Avenue - which is currently being converted into Finham Park II.

Developers made the discovery as they dug trenches in the car park prior to starting the construction of the new school's sports hall.

The area has strong links to the Knights Templar and the land was used to generate cash for the protection of the Holy Land during the Middle Ages. That has led some to speculate that the discovery could relate to the medieval knights.

But sources at Coventry City Council believe it is far more likely the discovery is the foundations of Fletchamstead Hall, a Jacobean manor house constructed in the area in the 1600s.

Discoveries at the site are currently being assessed by archaeologists to establish precisely what has been found.

Coun Roger Bailey, who is a registered tour guide and has a keen interest in the city's heritage, said the discovery was "very interesting".

He said: "It's quite an important area around there because it was Knights Templar land around there.

"I have got a feeling there are a lot of links to the Templars. That would mean it could have links to the Vatican and the pope.

"Until recently, the Vatican owned land in Coventry.

"The Knights Templar owned anything from the Fletchamstead Highway to Templar School. I wonder if whatever has been found has origins in the Knight Templar.

"They used the land to generate money to send fortifications to the Holy Land."

Russell Plester, Finham Park II head teacher, said the discovery was exciting but had little impact on the building schedule. The new school is set to open its doors in September. He said: "I believe the builders have found the remains of a Jacobean manor house.

"It has been concreted over for the car park of the Land Registry building. I don't think they found a lot, a team went in and did some archaeological work.

"It's where the sports hall is going, it's not slowed down the building work in general, but it may have delayed the sports hall construction."

Reports on what has been found are expected in the next few weeks.

CAPTION(S):

| A trench where the remains were found and (above) knights of a religious military order known as Knights Templar

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 20, 2016
Words:419
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