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110728 Coffins 91

March 28, 2014
by the gentle author

The crypt beneath St Clement Church, King Square, London. The crypt, approx 100ft by 45ft, is now strewn with piles of soil, stone, rubble and clinker. It is in a sad state and visited by cats and foxes so there are animal and human bones amongst the cobwebs. It has a centre aisle and there are nine arched tunnels running north-south across it. The side aisles have recessed, arched bays and on each side there are coffins in three of them behind locked iron grilles – the family would have kept the keys. At the east end under the altar lies a Priest in Charge, the Revd William Thompson, and two members of his family. All those interred here are local people including five Sowters of Wharf Road, five Bedgoods of Regent’s Terrace, City Road and William Jacob and three relatives who lived in King’s Square. Mr Jacob Clement’s vault is dated 1826 and contains three coffins. 31 coffins, all lead encased in wood, lie on the floor of the open tunnels and are in good order although the outer fabric has perished as would be expected. They obviously belong to wealthy residents because poorer parishioners would have been buried in the large cemetery of St Luke’s – St Clement’s possesses no churchyard.

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