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cornworthy.com - The Vault

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~ The Vault ~


During the renovation work in 2012, a hole appeared in the floor of the south aisle near the door. William Lewis was removing the modern flooring slabs that lay on top of the ancient slate slab floor. The earth did not move for him but began to trickle away into a void which turned out to be where a beam had fallen into a vault below.

When the small hole was cleared and a torch shone into it, a whitewashed vault measuring roughly seven feet by four by five feet was revealed. In one corner lay a pile of long bones and the fragments of at least two skulls. On the right hand side of the vault the fallen beam had crushed a wooden coffin and burst it open. The lid had no brass plate and appeared to be lying on top of the bones.

The hole was too small to admit a person and a short ladder so we do not know whose family members repose in the vault. All the other vaults were filled either in 1788 when the box pews were installed or in Victorian times when the tile floor was laid.

There are no monuments near this vault in the south aisle. If the roof of the vault needs further strengthening it is possible that it could be entered and more about the people buried there could come to light. Bones found in the floor of the church are reverently reburied with prayers.