Inside the Bubble – Week 12

At least seventeen individuals were found in a mass grave next to the Palace Green Library in 2015.

On Monday, 200 people crammed into Durham Castle’s Great Hall for a question and answer session on the Scottish Soldiers archaeology project. The skeletons of at least 17 individuals who fought at the 1650 Battle of Dunbar were discovered in a mass grave next to Durham University’s Palace Green Library in 2015. Due to Ministry of Justice demands, the bodies of the soldiers need to be reburied eventually and this week’s event, which saw the Mayor of Durham and local councillors attend, sought to consider the views of the public before the process occurs. Professor Chris Gerrard, head of Durham University’s Department of Archaeology and part of the five-strong panel answering questions, said: “We will now be considering the impressive level of feedback gained over the last few months, including the views shared at our first public event in Dunbar in November, when making our decisions on what should happen next to the soldiers.”

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that Durham University is the third highest English university spender of art. The BBC request exposed the fact that that the university spent £2.6 million between 2010 and 2015 to add to art collection that includes work from the likes of Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder. Only the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge outrank Durham’s level of spending. In an interview with Palatinate that focused on the university art collection’s role in the wider Durham community, Durham University said: ‘‘A regular programme of public exhibitions is staged in Palace Green Library, the World Heritage Site Visitors Centre, and the Oriental Museum. In addition, the University organises free guided tours of the art collection in the Palatine Centre and Law School, and staff, students, and members of the public are encouraged to come and enjoy it.”

Durham Cathedral received a new financial supporter this week, with Lumley Castle now acting as a bronze level corporate partner. Lumley Castle, which overlooks Durham County Cricket ground, is offering package deals for tea at the Cathedral. Clare Chillingworth, from the Cathedral, told the Durham Times: “We’re delighted that Lumley Castle has decided to formalise their connection with us’’, whilst Lumley Castle general manager Christine Gott reciprocated the compliment: “We are delighted to have strengthened our links with Durham Cathedral’’.

Durham Constabulary are appealing for witnesses regarding a mugging that occurred in the Gilesgate are over the weekend. A women aged 23 was walking along Sunderland Road, near to the junction with The Moorlands at 8:45pm on Saturday when, without warning, a man grabbed hold of her shoulder, turned her around and brandished a large, black handled kitchen knife. Detective Constable Nigel Dowd said: “These types of incident are very unusual for Durham, the victim was left very shaken but fortunately was not hurt. We are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry and I would urge anyone who may have information to get in touch.”

The popular Apple reseller ‘Stormfront’ was burgled on Monday. The Tab reported that the technology store was left ‘practically’ empty of goods with only a few products remaining. Glass lay strewn across the retail store with the front door appearing to have been subject to a forced entry. Police have restricted access to the shop.

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