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Mass grave of over 40 skeletons discovered by workmen building a TOILET

A GIGANTIC Anglo-Saxon grave has been revealed to the public after being discovered by workmen building a TOILET.

Lady digging up bones & human skeleton


Workers discover 40 skeletons in mass grave whilst building a toilet

Construction workers were carrying out work on a toilet block at the Holy Trinity Church in Hildersham, Cambridgeshire, in March last year when they discovered over 40 skeletons, including four children, buried just 18 inches below the ground.

In total, 24 graves remained intact and the church paid archaeologists £20,000 to examine 19 skeletons which dated back to the 9th or 10th century, predating the church by several hundred years.

After archaeologists finished preparing and cleaning the bones, the church’s committee decided to relocate the remains in a new grave which overlooks a nearby meadow where villagers are predicted to have lived at that period.

Holy Trinity churchwarden and local historian, Andrew Westwood-Bate, 60, said: “We expected to discover some bones while digging but this was completely unexpected.

“The Victorians did a lot of work here and there are underground pipes brushing past the graves, but amazingly nothing had disturbed them.”

Archaeological dig at mass grave church


Archaeologists spend time examining the bones at the Holy Trinity Church

Mr Westwood-Bate said that the graves were dug into the chalk and added that the discovery of the children was one of the most exciting moments of the excavation.

He added: “When the bones were removed, they were all put in bags and placed in a grave together.

Intact bones found in dig at church


The bones found are thought to be the remains of 11th century villagers

“We gave them a proper funeral early in the day because we didn’t want to draw any attention to ourselves.

“It was very moving and they have been laid to rest looking over the meadow where they would have lived when they were alive.”

New grave of buried villagers in church


The new grave holds 32 Anglo-Saxon skeletons

Mr Westwood-Bate believes the skeletons are Anglo-Saxon, but Cambridge University Archaeological Unit experts who examined the site dated the bones to the 11th or 12th century.

The headstone is due to be put in place before the end of the month and will read: “This headstone marks the grave of 32 Anglo-Saxon skeletons excavated by the University of Cambridge Archaeological Unit during the building of the North Porch in 2015.”