Fascinating history buried deep below St Bride's church

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Just off Fleet Street the spire of St Bride's is best known for inspiring the tiered shape of wedding cakes. But the history of the church goes much deeper.

St Bride's is of course a very famous Wren church its actually the eighth church on this site but what's most fascinating of all is what's beneath us here because we are currently standing on top of 2,000 years of London history.

Canon Alison Joyce, St Bride's

Canon Alison Joyce took me down into the crypt.

After the major chlorea epidemic in 1854 the crypt which were full were sealed off and forgotten about until after the church was bombed in the second world war and it was only when the area was excavated to rebuild the church that it was discovered what was down here and it was extraordinary.

Canon Alison Joyce, St Bride's

From cast iron coffins to deter body snatches to a Roman road, these corridors take you on a journey into the past.

In here we have a medieval charnel house which is full of hundreds and hundreds of oh my goodness its amazing isn't it. Absolutely extraordinary.

Canon Alison Joyce, St Bride's

The bones are neatly stacked and metres deep.

When churchyards become full it was standard practice in medieval times to dig down in ancient burials to remove any ancient bones which were found and to store them in a very seemly fashion in a charnel house so the grave yard can be used again.

Canon Alison Joyce, St Bride's

And they're not the only remains on display.

This room is particularly fascinating because in the boxes around me are the remains of 227 individuals who were buried in another part of the crypt and what's fascinating is that we know the identity of every single one of these people.

Canon Alison Joyce, St Bride's

With the help of the experts from the museum of London these skeletons are helping unearth even more remarkable stories hidden under London.