The Bone Crypt, Holy Trinity Church, Rothwell

>>  Sunday, August 28, 2016

Holy Trinity Church in Rothwell is lovely church inside and out and dates back to 12th century.

So a lot of people have been through its doors and cemetery.

Although the hospital next door dated from 1586 is an almshouse, not an actual hospital as we would think of it. So it didn't add to the burial numbers.
Under the church there is a bone crypt, one of only two in the UK you can visit.

Opening times and prices are on the church website.

The bones are mostly skull and leg bones.  Those being the only ones 'required' for resurrection according to medieval superstition.  The guide said this is may be wrapped up with the skull and crossbones symbolism too.

There are varying theories given for around 2000 people being here.  Some more plausible ones are to do with grave yard clearance or the fact that this church is on the pilgrim way and an ossuary (bone crypt) will attract more worshippers or pilgrims (and their money presumably!)

The entrance is inside the church and you go down with a guide.  Ours was lovely and I think they are volunteers that are a part of the church community (or the church wardens.)

The windows that the visitors from centuries ago would have viewed the bones through are underground as well now.
Make no bones about it (!) this place has not been cleaned up for our viewing pleasure.  It is very dusty and cramped.  And you need to be very careful.

The amount of bones in there completely takes away from any fear or horridness I had expected to feel.  Even Cog was fine with it.

It is just completely fascinating.

Piles of bones every way you turn.
There are some very interesting ones, this is an original cut skull from the 18th century so maybe from a medical school.

This one curled my toes with it's teeth.

Have a read on the website as there are some very interesting details in PDFs on there.

The Sheffield University are currently doing more analysis on the bones.  So more information will continue to become available.

If you are passing, go visit.


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