24th February 2015
One day in February, with the support of the Development phase of our Heritage Lottery Fund award, work commenced to excavate the crypt in the North Chapel with the raising of the capstone (an inverted gravestone). This space above steps leading down to the entrance to the Crypt had been filled up with rubble in 1973, and this was carefully excavated and removed. After three hours they broke through a breeze-block wall to reveal the brick-lined burial vault, approximately seven feet wide by seven feet deep and five feet high at its highest point. It is built of red brick with a vaulted ceiling.
Three coffins were found laid in an east/west orientation. Two of these were positioned face-up whilst the third, nearest the north wall, was on its side. All three coffins appeared to be made from lead. The coffins were positioned on two brick plinths laid in a north/south orientation on the floor of the Crypt. A number of iron handles and escutcheons were found associated with the coffins, together with a plaque. Although there are references on the Memorials in the North Chapel, there is some doubt as to the identity of the three occupants of the coffins in the Crypt. This is being further investigated.