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Uncovering church's chilling skeletons mystery

An archaeologist is hoping to uncover a chilling mystery that has baffled historians for years.

Hundreds of skeletons were found under a church in Northamptonshire, but no one really knows who they are or how they got there.

Beneath Holy Trinity Church in Rothwell there is a medieval charnel chapel - or bone house - containing the remains of around a thousand people, including 800 human skulls.

Jenny Crangle, an osteo-archaeologist, studies a skull. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Research by Jenny Crangle, an osteo-archaeologist, suggests the ossuary was bricked up during the reformation. The bones sealed in and forgotten,

It was rediscovered in 1700 quite by accident. The story goes that a grave digger fell down into the bone house. He survived his injuries but never recovered from the terror.

The bones at Rothwell church. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The skeletons have fascinated the people of Rothwell ever since. Some say these are soldiers from the nearby battle of Naseby. Others swear they are victims of the plague.

Jenny Crangle believes the charnel house was a medieval tourist attraction for pilgrims who paid to pray among the bones.

A skull at Rothwell Church. Credit: ITV News Anglia

And if you fancy braving the staircase and seeing the skeletons, the church is holding an open day this Saturday.

Holy Trinity Church, Rothwell. Credit: ITV News Anglia

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