Modern time capsule buried under former Museum of St Albans in same spot as 1898 discovery

PUBLISHED: 12:41 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 15 November 2018

Left to right: project manager Paul Barrett, area director David Rowsell, and Cllr Farmer. Picture: Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure

Left to right: project manager Paul Barrett, area director David Rowsell, and Cllr Farmer. Picture: Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure

Archant

A replacement time capsule has been buried in the same spot where a 19th century version was discovered last year.

Alban City pupils hold the time capsule. Picture: Morgan Sindall Construction and InfrastructureAlban City pupils hold the time capsule. Picture: Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure

The original glass bottle was unearthed by Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure in November 2017 on the site of the former Museum of St Albans, under a commemorative stone plaque.

It contained extracts from this newspaper and the St Albans Times, as well as a Victorian half-penny.

A note inside explained the artefact had been buried by Dame Maria Millington Evans on July 20, 1898 - she was an archaeologist, author, and wife of museum founder Sir John Evans.

The developers have now reburied a new time capsule full of modern day additions donated from St Albans district council (SADC), community group Look! St Albans, and Morgan Sindall itself.

This includes a blueprint of the 10-home Oak Tree Gardens scheme, which has replaced the former museum site, and photos of the builders working on it.

It was reburied on Hatfield Road in a ceremony attended by St Albans mayor Rosemary Farmer, six of the new development’s residents, and pupils from St Albans Gymboree and Alban City School.

Portfolio holder for sport and culture at SADC, Cllr Annie Brewster, said: “I’m delighted that Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure has organised the reburying of the capsule and included items from 2018, the year in which a new St Albans Museum + Gallery has opened.

“Here is to hoping that in a century or so, people might discover the capsule again and get a glimpse through the decades at all of us.”

When the 1898 time capsule was discovered, there was also a second relic found on the site. It is believed to have been buried in 1960 when the stone plaque was moved.

In creating the new Oak Tree Gardens development, Morgan Sindall has retained the Museum of St Albans’ facade to preserve the site’s history.

Area director for the developers’ northern home counties region, David Rowsell, said: “As a company we’re very experienced at working within sites of historical and cultural importance and it’s a privilege that our team was able to have the opportunity to discover such an important and special artefact as this.”

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