Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Funny how things turn out isn't it?  My friend is having a holiday so has a house/dog sitter looking after everything.  Now the house sitter (K) is an Australian taking time out from her life in Oz, to travel and get to know different areas and the folk that live in those areas -- and get to know them she has!.  We met up when she joined me in my Aqua Aerobics class, then she invited me to join her in Zumba classes held in the small town that I live.  I passed on Zumba but she has made a few friends there and after a bit of a chat it was mentioned that our church 'Holy Trinity'  has a crypt full of bones and someone, knew someone, that would be willing to open the church and give a tour.....I was invited to this and took her up on the offer.  How can an Australian visiting, for such a short time, be inviting me to visit my local church???.. WELL DONE K

We were taken through a small doorway and down the stone stairs to the crypt and could see the remains of approx. 1500 human individuals.

The doorway must have only been about 4ft. high

narrow staircase

There are many theories about the bones..

* Danes slain in battle by the Saxons  ~ the skulls do not reflect the injuries of a battlefield although some appear to have evidence of trepanning or damage by a sexton's mattock. ('tepanning' = surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled or scraped into a human scull)
* Bones of men slain at the battle of Naseby or at Bosworth Battlefield ~ who would spend the money and resources to transport dead bodies from a battlefield even though Naseby is only 8 miles away and Bosworth 30 miles away.
* Remains of a monastic burial place ~ the quantity of bones seems large for a monastic burial even over centuries.
* Victims of plague epidemic ~ who in their right minds would place plague victims in a crypt or dig them up from a lime pit and place them in the crypt.

skulls and long bones

More skulls

neatly stacked 

friendly faces

George Busk in 1872 noted that " it merely represented the gradual accumulation, through a long series of years of skulls and bones removed from adjacent churchyard. The remains therefore might be taken as fair representation of the population of the surrounding  district for a very considerable period...."
It was also revealed in 2013 by an osteoarchaeologists that the ratio of bones is about 50 : 50 male to female. So I personally think he might have it just about right.  What do you think?

This is K, and I think quite a lot of folk locally will miss her when she goes to her next house-sit.

As you can see the crates/pens that house many bones are not small 
I feel quite privileged being able to get to the crypt, as I never seem to be around when they give the tours.


  1. That's awesome! And you should take her up on Zumba....it is so much fun...if I can do it YOU can do it!!:)

  2. How interesting. How often is the ossuary open as I would love to go there?

  3. what a wonderfull experience I would have enjoy it as I am sure you did.

  4. It is a bit embarrassing to find an "outsider" knows more about your home than you! Great visit though!