Archaeologists unearthed “mysterious” remains of a child’s body during a dig at a cathedral.

The discovery was made during excavation work which is currently being carried out at St Albans Cathedral.

The remains are those of a young individual with rosary beads wrapped around their right hand, trailing down their leg.

Ross Lane, a member of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, believes the beads suggest it is a Catholic burial in what appears to be a Church of England cemetery.

He said: “This suggests this individual was Catholic in an otherwise majority Protestant burial ground.”

Further investigations will take place to find out why it could have been buried there, but Mr Lane added: "There could be several reasons for it, it could be an earlier burial, or it could be that this was a visitor to St Albans from further afield and they've just been caught in an epidemic and buried."

The Canterbury Archaeological Trust has been working at St Albans Cathedral ahead of the construction of a new Welcome Centre.

Last month a tomb containing the body of an aged adult male was found during an excavation, along with three papal seals - known as papal bulls - inside the grave, believed to have been issued by Pope Martin V (1417-1431).

Research undertaken by the trust suggested that the body could be John of Wheathampstead, a former abbot of St Albans who died in 1465, as a grave with more than one bulla - is highly unusual and must mark the burial of a significant individual.

The work will continue at St Albans Cathedral until early 2018 and the new Welcome Centre will open in June 2019.

The Welcome Centre is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and part of the Alban, Britain’s First Saint project.