12th century carving of Eleanor of Aquitaine discovered

Archaeologists working at Bradwell Abbey in central England have unveiled a stone carving of Eleanor Aquitaine, dating back to the 12th century.

Other finds announced earlier this week include stonework from the original priory wall which remains in immaculate condition, as well as medieval paintwork. There may be more discoveries in the future, as the restoration project for Bradwell Abbey will receive an additional £593,000 in funding from Milton Keynes Council.

The Council has already dedicated £800,000 towards the project, with Historic England also providing £257,000 in support. The site has suffered from ageing since the 16th century, with only the chapel remaining in its entirety from the priority site. Milton Keynes Council is now working with Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre and other partners to deliver the restoration of Bradwell Abbey.

Jenny Marklew, a Councillor at Milton Keynes, commented, “I’m delighted to be able to share these finds today and announce that the Council is investing an additional £593,000 in this project. It’s important that we bring Bradwell Abbey back into use as one of the most important historic jewels of Milton Keynes. I’d like to thank council colleagues and partners for their efforts in delivering this project.”

Following the completion of the project in 2020, the portable finds will be deposited into the Council’s Museum Collection held at nearby Milton Keynes Museum. The conservation experts also hope that the finds in situ can be on open display as part of a new Visitor Interpretation Centre at Bradwell Abbey.

Top Image: Stone carving at Bradwell Abbey – photo courtesy Milton Keynes Council

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