More analysis needed on bones from ‘Lewes battle casualties’

Very probably Graham Mayhew is right, and the skeletons found in the railway cutting through the Priory were those of battle casualties from 1264. However, John Bleach has argued persuasively that what the navigators had found was an ossuary, in which the bones from two earlier churchyards on the site had been re-interred. Of course the question could be easily settled if we could get our hands on a few samples - C14, evidence of battle trauma, isotopic analysis of dental enamel - and we do know roughly where they might be found. Unfortunately archaeological excavations under a working railway line are somewhat difficult to arrange.

If Dr Mayhew’s theory is indeed correct, then anyone using the underpass between the Brooks and Ham Lane is walking though a war grave, which is an interesting thought. Particularly at night....

Jon Gunson

Lewes