Speed Reads

Ancient artifacts

Archaeologists discover site of 1826 murder mystery

After being demolished in 1872, the home of early 19th century murder victim Joe the Quilter will soon be brought back to life. A team of archaeologists led by Beamish Museum in England's County Durham have discovered the remains of the cottage of widower and renowned quilt maker Joseph Hedley, where he was murdered in January 1826. Despite the crime's high profile at the time, the case was never cracked.

Archaeologists have unearthed the remnants of the cottage's fireplace, floor flagstones, pottery, and a "silver groat coin given as Maundy money to the poor." The museum plans to fully recreate the cottage as an example of a "humble working man's habitation," Chronicle Live reports.

"As archaeologists it's extremely rare to be working on a site inhabited by a named individual about whom we know so much," Remaking Beamish project officer John Castling said. "It's even more unusual that the individual isn't a royal or a wealthy landowner. It gives us a poignant and tangible link to the day-to-day life of an ordinary working person in the early 19th century."