Northallerton: 'Prehistoric' remains found at former police HQ – BBC


Human remains believed to be prehistoric in origin have been unearthed in the grounds of a former police headquarters in North Yorkshire.
Bones and a human molar were found by builders at Newby Wiske Hall, near Northallerton, earlier this month.
The Grade II-listed mansion was North Yorkshire Police's headquarters from 1976 until 2017 and has been acquired by PGL children's activity holidays.
The Ministry of Justice has granted permission for a full exhumation.
Builders installing drains outside the mansion first spotted the remains on 14 April, buried about 3ft (1m) beneath concrete and close to what had previously been the police canteen.
The area was cleaned by hand revealing a human burial, prompting the company to request permission for a full exhumation.
A PGL spokesman told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "Once the bones have been fully exhumed, the remains will be sent away for dating confirmation.
"However, the location and state of preservation suggest a possible prehistoric date for the remains. This may be confirmed by further study."
North Yorkshire Police said an officer had visited the scene, but the remains were being treated as historical and it was not a police matter.
John Buglass, an archaeologist who has previously studied the hall and its surrounding area, said the only accurate way to date the remains would be through carbon dating analysis, which could take several weeks.
He said his research suggested the area could have been an Iron Age settlement.
"It looks like it had a prehistoric landscape. That suggests that somewhere near where the remains have been found will be the remains of a roundhouse where somebody had an Iron Age farm.
"In the Iron Age, typically they didn't have big organised cemeteries. It was a very scattered dispersal and population. When Uncle Fred died, you just buried him out the back."
Newby Wiske Hall was opened as a district police training centre in 1954 and became the North Yorkshire force's headquarters in 1976.
PGL had initially agreed to purchase the17th Century mansion in 2017, but the £2.5m deal was only concluded in 2021 due to legal issues.
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