StephenCryptLast weekend, Stephen, pictured, kindly showed us around the crypt which lies underneath Holy Trinity church.  The crypt is a massive space comprising several vaulted chambers each the length of the church and extending right out to the railings on either side.  It's quite spooky!







There are many coffins in the crypt, of all shapes and sizes.  Several are protected with chains or iron bars, which, as Stephen explained, was to guard against the attention of grave robbers.  In the early 19th century as medical science began to flourish, there were insufficient cadavers available to meet the needs of anatomy schools and this led to a grisly trade in grave robbing or body snatching.

Coffins Chains

Coffins Bars

 Charles MasonthorpePlaque on coffin inscribed: "Mr Charles Mason Sharpe died 30th August 1849 in his 36th year."


During the first world war the crypt was used as a shelter from air raids for up to 2000 people at a time, as a plaque on the front of the church attests: "In the midst of peril, we came to no harm".  Apparently, there's even a secret tunnel linking the crypt to Westminster!



#1 Nick Collin 2018-11-08 15:18
Thanks Jennifer for correctly identifying the name on the coffin - Charles Mason Sharpe, not Charles Masonthorpe as I had it!