Mystery human remains re-buried in poignant South Downs service

Mystery human remains discovered in a South Downs village have been re-buried in a poignant ceremony.

The remains - skeletons of 64 men, women and children - are thought to be hundreds of years old but no-one has been able to establish their identities.

They were found during building work at St Mary’s Church in Thakeham and it was there that they were re-buried in a mass grave yesterday (Tuesday) with a special service conducted by the vicar, the Rev Sara-Jane Stevens.

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Cliff Purvis, chairman of the church’s building committee, described the service - ‘to those known only to God’ - as ‘very moving and poignant.’

Some of those who attended a poignant reburial service at St Mary's Church, Thakeham

The skeletons were found buried beneath an old vestry while workmen were beginning to construct a new vestry in its place.

Following their discovery, the skeletons were kept safely beneath and around the altar of the 12th century St Mary’s Church until yesterday’s service.

The remains were re-buried in a poignant service at St Mary's Church, Thakeham
The Rev Sara Jane Stevens, vicar of St Mary's Church, Thakeham