part two of this tale, are you ready for this??
St Leonard's has the largest and best preserved collection of ancient human bones in Britain. There are just over a thousand skulls in four archways, it is estimated that four thousand people are in the Crypt.
Below is a solid mound of bones measuring 7.5 meters long by 1.8 meters high and 1.8 meters wide neatly stacked, it fell down and had to be reassembled by soldiers on a brick base in 1908 so it is now more stable.
One of the four archways full of rows of skulls.
It was rather gruesome but fascinating to see all this plus the display cabinets.
Were did they come from I hear you ask? Well various answers are given from as far back as 1678 when a pile of bones was recorded inside the south door. It had been thought that they were men who had fallen at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 but it has been shown that there are a high proportion of women and 10% children and youngsters. From what we were told it looks as though they were people of Hythe who had died over many years and excavated when the church was extended in the 13th Century. Various other explanations are given in the guide book but no conclusive evidence as to their origin so the mystery continues.
Right let's change the subject and go back into the sunlight and up the hill at the side of the church going back to the car. Looking down the hill by the railings were wild flowers growing out of the pathway.
You get an idea of how high up the hill the church was when you realise that the church was at this moment way up behind us.
Lastly to finish, perfectly formed flower heads swaying gently in the sunlight.
Thanks very much for taking the time to look.
Best regards, Mike.