Anglo-Saxon remains from 1,000 years ago have been discovered on the site of the planned new Braywick Leisure Centre - which will delay its completion.

The remains were found during early works undertaken by the Royal Borough before building begins on the site.

They include the remains of two pit houses - sunken featured buildings that are partly dug into the ground and covered by a roof, common from the 5th to 11th centuries.

Pottery fragments have also been found which show signs of being used for cooking, as one has soot on its exterior while the others show traces of burnt residue on their interior surfaces.

Andy Taylor, senior projects officer from the Thames Valley Archaeology Service, said: “These Anglo-Saxon remains are very significant. Previously we were not aware of any Anglo-Saxon settlements in the Braywick area so finding the sunken-featured buildings, particularly so close together and the pottery is very exciting.”

These early finds mean that a full archaeological dig will now take place across the whole Braywick site which is expected to take up to three months. It means the current estimated opening date for Braywick Leisure Centre is now March, 2020.

Cllr Samantha Rayner, the Royal Borough's lead member for culture and communities said: “The Anglo-Saxon remains found on the Braywick Leisure Centre site are very exciting and will add to the many historic and rare items found across the borough.

“We will be working with the Thames Valley Archaeology Service to undertake the full excavation and ensure that any historical pieces are found and saved so that residents, now and in the future can benefit from them and find out more about how people lived more than 1000 years ago.

“However this will unfortunately have a direct impact on the timelines for the opening the centre. While this is disappointing, we will be working with our archaeology and construction partners to ensure that disruption to our plans is kept to a minimum and where possible we will aim to open as close to the original date as possible.”

Braywick Leisure Centre will replace the ageing Magnet Centre, which will not close until the new one opens so there will be no break in service.