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Human skeletons found beneath a Cornish church

Human skeletons found beneath a Cornish church

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 3:14pm 6th August 2018. (Updated at 4:29pm 7th August 2018)

Human bones have been found buried beneath the floor of a Cornish church.

Teams excavating the site made the shock discovery at St Sithney near Helston.

At first they thought it was just a few bones, but as they carried on several full skeletons were uncovered.

Police say the bones are not recent or suspicious and it is thought that they date back to the Victorian era.

Sithney excavations
The site where excavations are being carried out at St Sithney Church

Contract builder Shaun Rothwell, from Rothwell Historical Restorations, said: "Our builders were not surprised by the finding of a few bones to begin with but then got a shock when, the more they dug, the more full skeletons were discovered."

Chartered Building Surveyor Chris Hunter, from Scott & Co, said: "These remains are an interesting find that has meant we have to hold any further work whilst an archaeology company dig further."

Archaeologist James Gossip, from Cornwall Archaeological Unit, added: "This work has uncovered some important facts, adding to our knowledge not only of life in Sithney and past burial practice but also helping us understand how St Sithney Church developed over time."

Vicar, the Revd Dr Peter Johnson, said: "Whilst these finds put a block on the continuation of our restoration we are mindful that we want to respect those who previously worshipped and lived in the parish.

"We shall plan a dignified re-burial of the bones and these remains will, as our Church Treasurer said, 'continue under the care of St Sithney.' "

Sithney excavations
The skeletons were found when teams dug up the church floor

The Parish Church Council of St Sithney Church will hold a short viewing session when members of the public will be able to get a limited view of part of the current dig on Thursday 30th August from 2pm to 4pm.

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