While critics say urban development often erases culture more than it adds to it, were it not for a recent development project taking place in Manchester, we may never have seen this centuries-old underground pub:
Indeed, in order to begin construction on a 13-story skyscraper in Manchester city center, developers brought in archaeologists to dig underneath the proposed site. In doing so, the archaeologists unearthed a 200-year-old pub, the remains of several homes, plates and pots, and several bottles of booze, some of them still filled with brandy.
“A lot of bottles have been found, maybe around 20,” site developer James Alderson told Manchester Evening News (MEN), who first reported the story. “We opened the cork on a few and you can still smell [the brandy…it really takes you back to the time when they would have been outside of the pub drinking.”
Based on recovered items and archival research, archaeologists believe that Thomas Evans first owned the unearthed pub, which went by Astley Arms at the time.
Archaeologists estimate that the buildings date back to the early 19th century, just a few years after Napoleon swept through Europe and before Manchester became an industrial hub, MEN reported.
Beyond the sheer excitement that comes with unearthing artifacts, those involved with the dig say they’ve enjoyed using their discoveries to trace genealogies.
“It’s brilliant because you can suddenly connect [the pub] to the local people in the area,” senior archaeologist and site supervisor Aidan Turner told MEN. “We looked online about [Evans’] family history and one of his descendants now lives in Texas.”
Next, learn how this teen used Google Earth to identify a lost Mayan city.