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Find current news, events and up to the minute happenings around the city on the updated Stirling News pages.

december 2002
Safer central Campaign
Central Scotland Police have launched a high profile campaign to tackle crime over the festive period and to reassure shoppers and party revellers in Stirling. High visibility policing will help to cut down on shoplifting, drink and drug driving, under-age drinking and petty crime.
A base has been established in the Thistles Centre to co-ordinate patrols and allow a fast response. More officers on the beat will deal with trouble on the streets.
Frequent mobile patrols and extra road checks will be employed to target drivers under the influence of drink and drugs.

City's Hogmanay Bash at Stirling Castle
After last year's event on Stirling Castle Esplanade, this year's will be even better! The city of Stirling starts the countdown to 2003 with international bands and "the most spectacular fireworks display in Scotland."
The evening will be hosted by popular TV and Radio funny man, FRED MACAULAY and there will be music coming from top Scottish acts. One of Scotland's best loved ceilidh bands, LAST TRAM TAE AUCHENSHUGGLE kick things off. Then Gaelic charm and Highland passion from CAPERCAILLIE featuring the unique voice of KAREN MATHIESON.
Dress for the cold. Bring your New Year cheer in plastic bottles and have fun!
The doors will open at 9.45pm and the event will last from 10.30pm - 12.30am.
Ticket are £9.50 for adults and £7.50 for children under 14yrs. All tickets purchased before Friday 6 December are £7.50.

Tickets are on sale from the Tolbooth Box Office 01786 274000 or the Albert Halls Box Office 01786 473544. If tickets are can still be had by December 31, they will be available from the Tolbooth until 10.45 and the Albert Halls until 10pm.

Retired Volunteers Conserving the Environment
The Retired and Senior Volunteers Programme recently teamed up with the Countryside Rangers for a training day and survey of footpaths in the area. There are over 400 footpaths in Stirling District and the group aims to carry out a twice yearly check on condition of the ground, gates and signposts.
If you are retired, enjoy walking and want to help conserve the local environment. You can volunteer by calling 01786 475800.

november 2002
Christmas Lights Switch-On Stirling

atomic kittee in stirling

Tribute band Atomic Kittee will be appearing at Stirling's Christmas Lights Switch-On on Thursday, November 21. They will be performing Atomic Kitten’s latest hits like The Tide is High, Eternal Flame, I Want Your Love and Whole Again.

Up to 2,000 people are expected to join in the festive fun which will start at 6.30pm in the pedestrian precinct at the bottom of King Street. Provost Tommy Brookes will switch-on the lights at 7pm.
Father Christmas will be there, along with local bands and street entertainers. The event is in aid of the Strathcarron Hospice’s ‘Light Up A Life’ Campaign.

The Port Street precinct will be closed to vehicles from 11am.
The Thistles shopping centre will be open until 8pm.

october 2002
Tolbooth Wins Major Architectural Award

The Tolbooth. Stirling At the new Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts in Gateshead on Saturday, Stirling Tolbooth was awarded the Crown Estates Conservation Award. This is one of the UK's major architectural awards, which is presented by the Royal Institute of British Architects for outstanding work in the re-use and conservation of an historic building.
Other contenders included the Tate Britain Development and the Great Hall in Belfast, but it was Stirling's new arts centre which the judging panel described as, "truly ingenious."

Architect Richard Murphy said, "The Tolbooth was an adventurous and successful adaptation of a historic building - and one which I believe could set an example for future historic developments."

Biodiversity Trails in Stirling

Stirling biodiversity trails

In order to encourage people to become aware of and to value biodiversity, the variety of plant and animal life around Stirling - Stirling Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park have published a new information leaflet which details some of Stirling's Biodiversity Trails.
It includes a map and guide to 12 walks in a variety of landscapes and natural habitats around the Stirling area, with directions for getting there, distances, the nature of the terrain and facilities in the area.
There are walks around the Lake of Menteith, the Carse, Touch Hills, Callander, Glen Dochart and more. The trails are all easily accessible and many are suitable for wheelchairs. The leaflet is available from local libraries or from the Countryside Services on 0845 277 7000.

september 2002
Free Swimming Lessons for Children

Bank of Scotland Swimfest will be held at the National Swimming Academy, Stirling University between October 16 and 18. During the school holiday, primary school children are invited to enjoy an hour of free swimming lessons and try new activities.

Wednesday 16th
13.00 - 14.00
14.00 - 15.00
Thursday 17th
14.00 - 15.00
15.00 - 16.00
Friday 18th
10.00 - 11.00
11.00 - 12.00

Decide which ability group you are in -
Beginners: non swimmers, swimming with buoyancy aids
Improvers: able to swim 5-10m unaided
Developers: confident in deep water (no aids), able to swim 3 recognisable strokes over 25m each

Telephone to register on 01786 466532, between 4pm to 8pm on the 24-26 September, 1-3 October and 8-10 October.
- only swimmers booked through this number will be guaranteed a swim!

Two Men In A Trench

Tony Pollard and Neil Oliver (Two Men In A Trench) and a team of archeologists from Glasgow University, have been investigating areas around the Carse, Bannockburn High School and Bannockburn Heritage Centre with a 10 day dig on sites where the Battle of Bannockburn probably took place in 1314. This will feature in the BBC TV series next year.
The duo try to discover secrets from centuries old battlefields, hoping to find skeletal remains, weaponry or artefacts. Nothing has yet been found which is confirmed as coming from the battle, which took place 688 years ago so it's unlikely that they'll find anything. It will be worth watching to hear some recent views on the exact location of the battle.

Golf Course at Kippendavie Gets Go-Ahead

The application to develop an 18 hole golf course near the Queen Victoria School, in the North East of Dunblane, has been given unanimous approval. Local people would like confirmation that, the land between the site and existing housing will not be sold off to housing developers.
The club will cater for up to 600 members and is good news for local players and visitors. There's a long waiting list for membership of the existing golf course but does the area really need two more?
There are worries that plans for a new golf course and hotel at park of Keir, between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, will be given approval at a hearing next month.

MacRobert Reopens Next Month

After extensive refurbishment, the hoardings come down and the new look MacRobert re-opens on the 18th 0f October. The cinema will now be open seven days a week with at least two films screened every evening and a late night screening on Saturdays. There will be a full programme of foreign language films, arthouse movies, Scottish features, classics and blockbuster movies.
After a poll to decide the first films to be shown, the votes were cast for Shrek which will be shown at 10.45am on the opening day and Moulin Rouge at 5.45.

A Visit to Dunmore Pottery Published

Dunmore Pottery - Toad

Peter Gardner became Scotland's leading exponent of the Art Pottery movement. 2002 marks the centenary of his death and there has been a recent Dunmore exhibition at the Stirling Smith.

Dunmore ware gained widespread renown by virtue of its unconventional shapes and spectacular glazes. Next to Weymss Ware, it is the most popular ware with collectors of Scottish pottery.

Around 1887, an illustrated pamphlet was published, detailing a visit to Dunmore Pottery. This extremely rare pamphlet has now been reprinted with additions. The largest work yet published on a specific Scottish pottery and the first work of any detail on Dunmore, the book will be of major interest to anyone with an interest in Scottish cultural history.
Available from the Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

august 2002
Bridge of Allan Games Cancelled

End of the Village

For the first time in their 150 year history, the Bridge of Allan Games had to be cancelled. Everyone has fond memories of being at the games with soaking wet shoes, wheels spinning in the car park etc. but there had been so much rain that the park was completely waterlogged.
Attracting crowds of around 10,000, Bridge of Allan Games is one of the biggest events on the Stirling calendar. The decision was taken after a field inspection with representatives of the athletes.
The organisers said that weather was not the only reason for the cancellation and that council road works outside the University could have been disruptive for people getting to the games.

july 2002
Paintings Gifted to the Smith Art Gallery

End of the Village

The Smith has recently been gifted two important works. The first is an oil painting, Towards Newburgh by William Miller Frazer RSA PSSA (1864-1961), a distinguished Scottish artist who was born in Scone, and had a long and acclaimed career both at home and abroad.
His work can be found in the gallery collections of Edinburgh, Paisley and Perth, and the Smith Trustees are pleased to have such a fine example for Stirling.The painting was gifted by the artist's granddaughter.

A watercolour of Kippen entitled End of the Village by Alexander P Thomson (d.1962) is another welcome donation. Although Alex and Sheena Gilfillan of Lenzie have treasured this painting with its social and art history for years, they decided that the Smith should be its permanent home.
Both paintings are currrently on show at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.Read more about these paintings >>>

Will Uri Geller Solve Battle of Falkirk Mystery ?
Look out your broken clocks and watches and hide the cutlery. Uri Geller will be visiting Falkirk on the 21st and 22nd of October in an atttempt to pinpoint the location of the Battle of Falkirk.
Maybe he can find out exactly where William Wallace's army was defeated in 1298. Uri will fly over the area in a helicopter and then visit likely sites on the ground.

june 2002
Scotlands Lost Capital

Stirling Wallace Monument

Excavations to lay floodlighting cables at the Wallace monument, have revealed evidence of a 1500 year old citadel which confirms the site of Scotland's lost capital.

Stirling Council's Regional Archeologist Lorna Main, has just published a report which dates the cliff top fortification on the Abbey Craig as a Dark Age citadel, occupied between 500 and 780 AD. It is expected that radiocarbon dating of charcoal from the site will confirm that it is of Bronze Age or Iron Age origin.

Stirling was one of Scotland's important strategic centres inhabited by kings and warlords at a time when "Picts, Scots, Britons and Angles ruled their kingdoms in the four quarters of mainland Scotland."
In the grounds of the university below, King Kenneth MacAlpine defeated the Picts to establish Scotland in 843 AD.
William Wallace is believed to have watched the English army gathering before the Battle of Stirling Bridge from the ruins of the fort.

In the small area which has been excavated, stone walls, entrance points and timber ramparts have been discovered and it is hoped that further excavation will uncover Pictish and Dark Age artifacts.

Bruce Glendinning of the Scottish Urban Archeological Trust says,
"The fort was built and at some stage, posibly during a raid, burnt...At a later stage we can tell it was rebuilt using a different style of building on the ramparts. That is unique.
No other forts have been identified in the area - This is a first".

The Chinese State Circus at the Kings Park

Chinese State Circus

It hasn't stopped raining this month but that didn't stop people going to the Kings Park between Tuesday 11 to Sunday 16 June to see the Chinese State Circus.

This was an astounding show with breathtaking balancing acts, feats of skill and agility from 30 of China's best circus performers who made the impossible look easy.
Acrobats, tumblers, a bungee trapeze act, uni-cycling, plate spinners, the lion dance, kung fu and more.
Don't try this at home.

BIG in Falkirk STICKY Spectacular
See Exclusive STICKY Photographs >>>

STICKY Spectacular

Between Friday May 24 and June 3, Scotland's National Street Arts Festival returned to Falkirk for it's third year with an 11 day extravaganza of international street arts, live music and outdoor theatre. And most of it was FREE!

Last year's event featured an explosive pyrotechnic extravaganza by the French company Groupe F which was going to be be hard to beat but on Saturday June 1 at 10.30pm, Improbable Theatre from London performed their spectacular, Sticky.
Sticky tape and pyrotechnics aren't obvious companions but the crowd who assembled in Callander Park were treated to something totally original. A giant spider, a high clock tower, machines, a giant fly sprinkling glitter over the crowd, earth shaking explosions, an inferno of fireworks and lights, a soundtrack that varied from pounding industrial beats to religious chanting. The performance built up to a spectacular finale of aerial fireworks.
Firework displays will never be the same again.

Spectacular Jubilee Beacon
stirling jubilee beacon spectacularOn Monday 3rd June at 9.30pm the lighting of the Jubilee Beacon was billed as being
'the climax to the Castle's Royal Celebration weekend'.
An hour or so before London exploded in music, fireworks and projections, a small crowd of all ages had gathered to mark the occasion. They shuffled about waiting for something to happen.

A man ignited a tiny brazier on the battlements and started to take photographs of it.A child in the crowd started mocking the beacon.
"What's that! That's Rubbish!," she shouted.
Other people began to voice their opinions -
"They could at least have got a lone piper"
"A couple of Roman Candles wouldn't have cost much."
Everybody laughed in disbelief and wandered off into the night.

may 2002TOP
Official Golden Jubilee City of Stirling
The Queen visited Stirling on May 24th to present 'Letters Patent' which grant official city status to Stirling . Thousands lined the streets in the rain to greet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The presentation of the documents took place in the Municipal Chambers and they will now go on display.
Scotland's oldest woman Lucy D'Abreu celebrated her 110th birthday by meeting the Queen at the Municipal Buildings. After the presentation, the Royal party met 42 specially invited guests who included MSPs Sylvia Jackson and Keith Harding, Magnus Magnusson, Elspeth King - Director of The Smith, Dr Rennie McOwan - writer and broadcaster.
The band of the Royal Marines, the Stirling Schools Pipe Band, the Queen Victoria School Pipe Band and the Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band performed at the castle and throughout the City there will be a range of activities during the Summer.

First Minister Commemorates Radical Martyrs
First Minister, Jack McConnel will officially reopen the Tolbooth on 13th May and he will re-dedicate a plaque commemorating the Glasgow weavers, John Baird and Andrew Hardie who were convicted at the Tolbooth, hanged and then beheaded for high treason in 1820. The inscription reads
In Memory of John Baird and Andrew Hardie who were publicly hanged here on 8th September 1820 - for the cause of justice and truth
They campaigned for voting rights for the working classes and for a Scottish Parliament. Government spies convinced them to take up arms and they tried to take the Carron Iron Works in Falkirk by force but were easily defeated by the army. The 1820 Society has commemorated the deaths of these radical martyrs and pioneer trade unionists every year, at a monument in Sighthill Cemetery.

april 2002TOP
Another Triumph for Le Weekend at the Tolbooth
stirling le weekendDespite the last minute cancellation by Fushitsusha on Sunday night, Le Weekend's return to the Tolbooth was a success.
After all the fuss about Stirling becoming a city, you start to wonder 'What's the big deal?.' If you were at Le Weekend between the 25 to the 28th April it started to make some sense. Things are changing around Stirling and some of these changes can be positive. People are going to the Tolbooth and despite criticisms of Le Weekend being 'elitist' and 'out of touch', you would have had trouble finding a seat on any one of the 3 nights.
Those who attended were treated to a varied and exciting programme of world class musicians. The highlights were a breathtaking performance by the William Parker Quartet and then the sheer joy of discovering Maher Shalal Hash Baz.
It's hard to believe that some of the finest live performances I have ever experienced, have taken place at the Tolbooth and the Cowane Centre over the last few years. Stirling Castle may get the occasional, REM or Dylan which is good but it could never attract the stadium fillers on a regular basis.
The future lies in specialising, creating a niche for the the smaller scale and truly original. Stirling has the opportunity to be forward thinking, leading the way with some creative events such as Le Weekend.
If that means more groups like Maher Shalal Hash Baz then, things are looking up.

Queen's Golden Jubilee Baton
In a special ceremony to be broadcast live on television, Provost Tommy Brookes will officially receive the Queen's Golden Jubilee baton. Stirling has been chosen along with Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness to relay the baton containing the Queen's message on it's world tour. Before the ceremony there will be 2 hours of entertainment provided by local groups and organisations. The baton will stay overnight in Stirling before leaving from the Bannockburn Heritage Centre the next day, to continue it's journey to the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

SAS Memorial on Hill of Row
'Who Dares Wins'
A memorial to the founder of the SAS is being erected near Doune. The statue of Colonel Sir David Stirling, who grew up on the nearby Keir estate, will stand in a small car park with views over Doune and The Trossachs. Money has been raised by the SAS Regimental Association, friends and family and the regiments themselves.

march 2002TOP
Free Swimming in Stirling
Between Saturday 30 March and Saturday 6 April, there will be FREE swimming sessions in the New National Swimming Academy at the University of Stirling. Designed to suit all ages and abilities, you can go along to as many as you like.

stirling free swimChildren over 5 - beginners, improvers and stroke development
Non swimming adults
Stroke technique for adults
Club swimmers
Swimming for people with disabilities - children and adults
Children under 5 with adults

See you there - Last one in's a rotten egg!
For more information contact 01786 466520

Princess Anne at Stirling Castle
On Wednesday, March 20, the Princess Royal officially opened The Thistle and the Rose exhibition at Stirling Castle which features rare 16th century manuscripts and documents which are worth millions.
Decorated by artists of the Ghent-Bruges school, the Book of Hours of James IV is the centrepiece of the exhibition. Returned to Scotland for the first time in 500 years, the illuminated manuscript tells the story of the Treaty of Perpetual Peace between Scotland and England. The treaty between James IV of Scotland and Henry VII of England resulted in the marriage of the 30 year old Scottish king to 13 year old Margaret Tudor.

It's official! Stirling is now a CITY!
The news was announced by Scottish Secretary, Helen Liddel at the Tolbooth opening on Thursday. A previous bid for city status failed, when Inverness was chosen at the Millenium. Since 1889, Stirling has become the third Scottish town to be made a city. Stirling is now the fastest growing area in the country and councillor Gerry Power said, "This award just confirms what a wonderful place Stirling really is."

Where are we going to build the cathedral?

Braes of Doune Windfarm
In order to counter the effects of global warming, the government is putting measures in place to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. Part of the plan is to increase the proportion of our electricity that is generated from renewable sources.
There is a proposal to develop a £35 million, wind farm on the Braes of Doune, for up to 50 wind turbines with a maximum capacity of 2MW each. They will stand 93m high and access roads, electrical cables between the turbines and a connection to the grid system will be needed. Enough electricity would be produced to power 75,000 homes.

A trust fund of £75-100,000 a year would be established for the communities of Callander, Dunblane, Doune and Braco for allowing the wind farm in their locality.

Generally, positive views have been expressed in favour of renewable energy. Studies are being carried out to assess the visual impact on the landscape and any disturbance of natural habitats. The company hoping to carry out the development are keeping the public informed with a series of consultations so, if anyone has any doubts they should find out more.

A computer model has been used to predict how many turbines would be visible and where from. An Environmental Statement is being produced and it is anticipated that the planning application will be submitted in July 2002.

Lanrick Castle Demolished
Built for the MacGregors around 1790, Lanrick Castle has been flattened by the owner of the estate, farmer and wealthy property developer, Alistair Dickson.
2.5 miles North West of Doune, the castle included a Gothic entrance Hall and rooms in the late Adam pattern. The house had been unoccupied since 1964 and was on the Scottish Civic Trust's Buildings at Risk register.
200 tons of stone had fallen in the recent storms and the owner claims the castle had become dangerous.
People are concerned about the destruction of an important part of our national heritage and that failure to prosecute the laird could result in other important buildings being demolished. The illegal destruction of a listed building is a criminal offence which could be punishable by a heavy fine or a prison sentence.

Tolbooth Launching 15.03.02
Stirling Tolbooth LaunchThe Tolbooth, Stirling's brand new place for music and the arts, opened this weekend with a series of workshops and performances. The minimal, space station interior has been incorporated well into the 17th Century building and you get the feeling that this will be a real breath of fresh air for the arts in Stirling. There is a modern theatre space, attic space, recording studio, workshop space, social and meeting space, bar, cafe, restaurant and shop. Now that Stirling is a city and not just a town that fancies itself as a city, the new Tolbooth should attract artists and performers who previously never knew we were on the map. Take a look at the What's On section to see the March/April programme of events, including the fifth Le Weekend Festival.

Nuclear Convoys Threaten Stirling
Stirling CNDBelow the castle rock, Stirling Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament set up banners at the roundabout on Dumbarton Road. Local residents are concerned that convoys of trucks carrying Trident Nuclear Warheads regularly pass through Stirling. CND carry out peaceful demonstrations to draw attention to the convoys when they pass through.
People are afraid that a road accident involving the trucks could result in loss of lives and environmental destruction.
The convoys carry Trident warheads to Coulport on Loch Long near the Faslane submarine base. In June, a number of activists stopped a convoy just outside of Stirling on the Buchlyvie Road. 11 of them were arrested and have trials in Stirling Sherrif Court over the next few months.

february 2002TOP
Tolbooth Opening
Stirling's new centre for Music and the Arts, is set to open on March 15 in the refurbished Tolbooth building. Local community groups have recorded a CD which will be released to coincide with the opening and a concert on Sunday March 17. Music and arts projects run by Stirling Council Heritage and Cultural Services Tolbooth team, produced the recording in the centre studio.

Titanic Honour and Glory at the Smith
Scotland's world premiere Titanic event of 2002 is now drawing in the crowds at the Smith. Visitors can experience a simulated dive to the ocean floor to view the wreck, see a recreation of a third class cabin and models and drawings of the ship. Original items from the White Star Line ships and props from the recent film are also on display. The exhibition marks the 90th anniversary of the ship's tragic, maiden voyage.
You can also see a great exhibition of photographs of Stirling in the 1960's. Well worth a visit and it's all free. I've never seen so many people at the Smith.

Population Explosion
Stirling is a great place to live and more and more people want to move here. The Registrar General for Scotland has released estimates that although the population of Scotland is set to fall, the population of Stirling will grow 11.87% by 2016, rising from 85,220 to 95,338.

january 2002TOP
Stirling's Hogmanay Party and Fireworks Spectacular
in Stirling Scotland - Hogmanay
Hogmanay revelers watch the fireworks from Stirling Old Bridge

There was an explosive start to 2002 with Tam Cowan compering Stirling's Hogmanay Party on the Castle Esplanade. Also on the bill were Celtic folk rockers Wolfstone, and Latin sounds with a Scottish flavour from Salsa Celtica.
The entertainment led up to the bells and an astounding finale. It was a beautiful, clear night for fireworks and one of the best displays yet.

National Swimming Academy opens at Stirling University
Lottery funded and built at a cost of £6.4 million, the new National Swimming Academy will open on Wednesday 30 January. Functional and modern, the futuristic building looks great in the beautiful setting of the campus.
The Olympic sized, 50 metre pool will be used to train the national team and should result in more successes and medals for the Scottish team. The pool has a moveable beam which can divide it into two 25 metre pools and a moving floor allows the depth of the pool to be altered. The University's, existing 25 metre pool will be transformed into a new, fitness centre.

Stirling - Alloa Rail Link
As part of the Strategic Rail Authority's future plans, the rail link between Stirling and Alloa, which was closed in 1968 is to be re-opened within 3 years. £3.74 million pounds will also be spent improving Stirling's bus and rail staions, park and ride and integrated transport services in the town. A new, freight line is to be built between Stirling and Longannet.

MacRobert Centre Temporary Closure
With the main theatre out of action, films were being shown in the Logie Lecture Theatre. Dwindling audiences have led to a decision being taken to close while redevelopment work is completed.20 jobs have been cut to make savings and at the end of the current film programme, detailed in the instirling What's On guide, no more films will be shown until the centre refurbishment is completed later in the year.
When it re-opens, the centre will have Scotland's first dedicated youth theatre, a new cinema, rehearsal area and workshops, cafe/bar, creche and art gallery.

Last Man Hanged in Stirling
The Tolbooth. StirlingAlan Mair was hanged in Stirling in 1843, after the 84 year old farmer had bludgeoned his wife to death. During the hanging, he managed to free his hands and struggled with the noose around his neck. The hangman had to hang on to his legs and pull to finish him off. The execution sickened so many people in the crowd that it resulted in him becoming the last man to be hanged in Stirling.
In May 2000, human remains were found buried in the entrance to the prison courtyard of the Tolbooth. Forensic examination, identified them as being Mair's.
Recently, after a short ceremony at Ballengeich cemetery, the skeleton was laid to rest in an unmarked grave.
Built in 1705, in Mair's day, the Tolbooth was used as a jail. The building has been haunted by a ghost which people believe to be Alan Mair and it is hoped that he will now rest in peace.
The building is currently being converted into a new centre for music and the arts.

600 Year Old Mystery
On the site of a Medieval church in Stirling, the search is on to locate the skeleton of Richard II of England . In 1400, Richard was replaced on the throne by Henry IV and was believed to have been murdered. It was rumoured at the time, that he had escaped to Scotland.
In 1402, the Duke of Albany was holding a man at Stirling Castle who was being treated like a King. This man died in 1419 and he could have been Richard II. The body is recorded as being buried in Black Friars church.
Dr. Ron Page, a local archeologist, has located the church on a site opposite Stirling railway station.The site is to be redeveloped as a new, town square and Dr. Page is working with council archeologists to locate the site of the high altar where the body was laid.
If remains are found, DNA testing would solve a 600 year old mystery.

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