Human remains are uncovered in church dig

Human remains found at the Church of Our Lady in Seaton Delaval.
Human remains found at the Church of Our Lady in Seaton Delaval.
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Work to repair the structure of a church which contains some of Northumberland’s most famous family has uncovered human remains.

In 2009, movement was discovered in the Church of Our Lady building in Seaton Delaval, which had been the private chapel of the Delaval family.

Voluntary group Friends of Our Lady was set up to raise funds towards the repair and maintenance of the church, and the vault containing some members of the Delaval family was opened in 2010 to enable the condition of stonework to be examined.

It was then decided to implement exploratory work to understand the cause of the movement – but test pits to find out what is happening beneath the church threw up some interesting and surprising results.

Rev David Bowler said: “In the first, human remains were found, and as the day progressed it became evident that it was a skeleton of a juvenile which could have been as old as the church.

“Bones and stone structures were found in other test pits, and a large stone slab was also unearthed that was covering something.

“Work is ongoing and we expect other things to be found.”