The discovery of human remains is possible during sewer improvement works in Ryde over the next 6 months, it has emerged.
Contractors Clancy Docwra are installing a new, larger capacity sewer on behalf of Southern Water at The Strand, however local residents have raised concerns with Island Echo about plans to install a 15m deep underground stormwater storage tank.
Although the work will help ease flooding issues in the area, contractors will excavate a 10m wide section of the recreational land at the eastern end of The Strand at the junction of East Hill Road, with a very real possibility that the remains of deceased sailors could be discovered.
The stormwater tank and associated pumping equipment is set to be installed at the Royal George Memorial Park – a memorial to those who lost their lives on board the HMS Royal George which sank on 29th August 1782. Nearly 300 people perished when the boat sank, with the bodies washing ashore at Ryde.
The casualties of the HMS Royal George are reputed to have been buried on the site of what is now the canoe lake, as well as the area to the eastern end of the Strand where the gardens are situated.
Realising the possibility of unearthing the remains of the deceased, Southern Water have notified the Island’s County Archaeologist about the works and have said that plans are in place should any bones be discovered.
Any remains located during the excavation will be removed and given a Christian burial.