Archaeological Excavations in Whitton, north Lincolnshire - 28th July-17th August 2002 .
1954/5 a gang of Irishmen
arrived in Whitton to dig up the roads for the laying of the first
sewerage pipes. On Chapel Lane they found a skeleton in one of
their holes. Since they were on piecework, they did not
want to be delayed by the bureaucracy of investigations by the
Lincolnshire Constabulary and the Scunthorpe Coroner and they
continued to dig, but, as a gesture to their new friend, they
plucked his skull out of the pit and placed it on a garden wall
where it remained, sheltered by an overhanging hedge for 8
or 10 years, before it disappeared. In 1987 eleven skeletons
were found in the garden of Church
View House in Whitton by its
new owners, and after the police had ascertained that they were
not recent murder victims, archaeologists from Scunthorpe museum
excavated the burials. No further work was undertaken on the site
at the time , but more recently the owners asked Dr
Dawn Hadley and Dr Andrew Chamberlain of
Sheffield University's Archaeology Department if they would like
to try to find out more about the 'cemetery' in their garden.
Excavations in 2001 uncovered more skeletons, some of which were
buried in oak coffins with elaborate metal fittings. One idea of
the archaeologists is that the cemetery may be associated with a
monastery founded in the vicinity by St Ætheldreda,
princess. This monastery site is usually linked to Whitton’s
neighbour, West Halton, where the church is dedicated to 'St.
In late July 2002 about a dozen graduates and post-graduates from the University of Sheffield were in Whitton in search of the location of the Anglo-Saxon monastery. As well as at Church View House, pits were dug at Cliff House and near the White House.
Most of the following photos were taken by Mary Leinart M.A., and they appear on this page with her permission.....
The discovery of a (probably) male skull (L) and the fully exposed skeleton (R).
Sheffield University Archaeology Dept
Back to Whitton page