Video: Rothwell bone crypt’s clues to ancient rituals

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A team of archaeologists is to hold an open day at a church as part of ongoing research into medieval funeral rituals.

A University of Sheffield PhD student says the crypt, or more accurately ossuary, at Rothwell’s Holy Trinity Church is one of only two surviving such examples in the country.

The crypt at Holy Trinity Church in Rothwell

The crypt at Holy Trinity Church in Rothwell

The crypt, which contains bones from at least 1,500 people, is popular with visitors.

And student Jenny Crangle believes it can help tell historians more about how the dead were seen in medieval times.

She added: “I think it is incredibly important because it shows a whole new way medieval people treated their dead.

“After putting someone in the ground, they didn’t leave the body there, they convened with them in a physical sense as well as in a spiritual sense or through prayer.

“We want to make it known it was a very respectful and reverent thing to do in medieval times.

“Taking them out of the ground is not disrespectful. It was never negative or morbid or macabre like it is nowadays.”

She added: “We wanted to go there, do the research and involve the community. We want them to bring their photos, tell us their local knowledge.”

The open day takes place on Saturday, August 10, at the church.