Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Ossuary

The ossuary in the crypt of St Leonard's church in Hythe is one of only two in the UK. It was common in the Middle Ages to dig up old burials to make way for new, with the detritus being housed in charnel houses. This practice was discontinued in the early modern period and most communities eventually disposed of their bone collections one way or another- but Hythe was old fashioned. The ossuary has a long wall of femurs interspersed with skulls running the length of the room and shelves of skulls in alcoves reaching up to the vaulted ceiling. It makes me think of an old-time, family shoe shop.






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