Parish Church Found 1572

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Material Information

Title:
Parish Church Found 1572
Series Title:
Archaeological Files for Aviles Street
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Creator:
Marcia Lane
Publisher:
St. Augustine Record
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Folder: Articles

Notes

General Note:
BDAC # 10-3000

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:
USACH00601:00029

Full Text


1572 parish church found


Construction on
Aviles Street reveals
historical surprises
By MARCIA LANE
m3rcia lane@ ilaiJgustine corn
When St Augus-
tine officials
decided to
remove park-
ing on what is probably one
of the nation's oldest streets,
it opened up an opportunity
for the city's archaeology
department to find out more
UTtCy, about the
WHERE history of
the Oldest
H1 City.
What
U 7S they found
was solid
evidence of a church dating
from 1572 evidence of the
location of the first parish
church of St. Augustine.
It's the first physical
evidence of Nuestra Senora
de Los Remedios (Our Lady
of the Remedies), according
to City Archaeologist Carl
Halbirt.
His voice still carries a bit
of the excitement and wonder
when talking about how he
and his team uncovered the
builder's trench and the wall
that marked the rear of the
church near the east corner of
King and Aviles streets.
"It was on the west, the
back wall. The front of the
church faced toward the bay,"
Halbirt said. He thinks it's the
first church in the state with
documented archaeology.
More discoveries were
made including post holes
that date back the 16th
century, pottery and human
PLEASE SEE CHURCH/12A


U. HERITAGE DETA5I L esrse t
S HOUSE esrepresent test units 3 6 ft

(,. AREA OF DETAIL
^ r SPANISH MILITARY R Utility trench
HOSPITAL M Church
?:: ... _;.. :. .. .. =;7Y Post K EY
.:., '2.:'..-,. . .. ,...-, .,: ... .. G rave
.. j'il i :U .Post hole
T --: ;.AVILES.STREET. Grave

West wall of late
16th-century parish church


Nuestra
Senora de Los
Remedios

N 1572 First church
built.
"- ..586 - 155Church

destroyed during raid by
Sir Francis Drake.
.W 1587 Second
church rebuilt
This rendering depicts Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios. E 1599 Destroyed by
Drawing by ELSBETH GORDON, St. Augustine Catholic fire and a hurricane.
Church rebuilt,
stayed in use until
the British burned St.
Augustine in 1702
Sources: Cross & Crozier,
a history of the Diocese
of St. Augustine, by
Charles Gallagher,
Ph.D., and St. Augustine
Catholic, October 2010
edition.

Aviles Street. By DARON DEAN
daron.dean@staugustdne.com
4 0000*00,60 l






WWW.STAUGUSTINE.COM MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2010.


CHURCH
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1A

bones.
Those bones offer up
another mystery. Only
feet and leg bones were
discovered, and they came
from two people.
"Apparently the bodies
were dug up and moved.
We're not sure how long
they were there, because
the feet bones were still
(together)," Halbirt said.
Whoever moved the
bones probably wanted
to get the job over with
and moved the bodies as
quickly as possible, missing
portions of bodies.
Halbirt doesn't know
who the bones belonged
to, although he thinks they
were removed about 400
years ago and reburied.
They could be the bodies of
priests.
He's more certain about
why the bodies were moved.
One of the post holes found
midway in the wall is sunk
about three feet, and he
believes it was the base of a
large cross.
"That's probably where
they put the cross (for the
church). They had to move
the bodies in order to put in
the cross," he said.
Finding the church wall
is a bit of a coup. While
people knew about the
church and had an idea of
its location, no evidence
of the structure had been
found.
Early maps*, including
the Baptiste Boazio map
of 1586 and the Hernado
de Mestas map of 1593,
show the church. The
churchyard was located in
the 1960s when graves were
discovered nearby.


The Hernando de Mestas
map included a drawing of
the church. The building
was of vertical board with a
sort of thatched roof. It was
a large building, about 37
feet wide and 60 to 70 feet
long. To one side, there's
a campanario, or belfry.
Four bells hung from the
structure.
Built about 1572, the
church was rebuilt twice
after suffering damage.
Once it was destroyed
during a raid by Sir Francis
Drake, an English privateer.
Later it was damaged by fire
and a hurricane.
In 1702 the British
burned St. Augustine and
Los Remedios. That ended
the parish of Nuestra
Senora de los Remedios.
The Spanish congregation
moved to Nuestra Senora de
la Soledad, which began as
a hospital and small chapel
in the late 1500s. Soledad
was located on a St. George
Street on property owned
by the religious order of the
Sisters of St. Joseph.
Even though the exact
location of Los Remedios
was lost over time, people
apparently remembered the
ground had been sacred.
Digging in the area, little
debris was found dating
before the 1800s, and
that's an indication people
retained an awareness the
church had been there, said
Halbirt.
While the excavations
done in August had to be
recovered so that Aviles
Street could reopen, plans
are under way to put up
signs telling passersby what
is below the surface.
"That way they have an
idea of what was here and
they'll know more about the
area," Halbirt said.