The crypt at St Leonard’s is a very mysterious place, over 2,000 skulls on display either shelved or as part of a giant pile of skulls and thigh bones. No-one has been able to confirm exactly when the bones were first displayed in this manner of even why. However, what is known from recorded history is that the skulls have been on show for at least the last 400 years!
A bird nesting in one of the skulls. Luckily after death!
This pile is made up of around 1,000 skulls and 8,000 thigh bones. Theory suggests that the bones were put on display to travelling Pilgrims from the close proximity to the port town of Dover. A macabre shrine / tourist attraction on the way to Cantebury.
This poor fellow died of a sword wound; interestingly you can see how the skull has tried to heal leading to the growth in the around the wound.
Some of these skulls are over 700 years old. It has been assumed that these were mostly found in unmarked graves from the church graveyard, which due to space restrictions did not have gravestones. It was a common occurrence to find skeletons whilst digging a new grave. Why not put it on display?!
A example of a bone tumour – not necessarily the cause of death.
It’s a good job the rest of the church isn’t so dreary!
Credit to Jack F Barker for producing a guidebook explaining the small amount that is actually known about the crypt.
As one of only two ossuaries in the UK I highly recommend a visit: http://www.stleonardschurchhythekent.org/thecrypt.html.
Down Street was once part of the Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway (now known as the Piccadilly line) and stood between Hyde Park Corner and Green Park. After these two stations expanded its use as a tube station became redundant and it was closed in 1932.
It became active again in 1938 during the build up to WWII, the Railway Executive Committee (REC) used it as a bomb proof HQ to house 40 staff during air raids and bombings over London.
There’s only one entrance/exit to the outside, not great in case of fire.
Ventilation was key, especially so Churchill and other execs could smoke in the underground HQ!
Old signage showing the direction of the trains
A fully functional kitchen used to serve caviar during the war! Not much left now.
The platforms were turned in to corridors as part of the REC HQ, doesn’t look much like a tube station anymore.
Interesting the REC architects decided to paint over the original tile works, apparently the “yellow paint” made it more homely for those working 12 hour shifts underground.
Many people think its an eyesore, others love the geometry. Brutalism is a form of architecture that started in the mid-1950s characterised by its raw concrete exterior and repeated modular elements forming a unified structure.
One of the most famous examples is the Barbican development.
Another prime example of this style can be found along the Southbank, the sprawling complex of the National Theatre and Southbank Centre.
Famed for being one of the most hideous examples and also now left to rot after being found full asbestos. Robin Hood Gardens.
Abbeyfield Road, Bermondsey.
A nice sunny Sunday afternoon stroll in Chertsey brought us upon this morbid gem.
St Peter’s mortuary was built in the 1940’s and is a small building on the outskirts of the main (currently active) Hospital site. It closed in April 2009 when the mortuary relocated to the main building.
Much of the insides have already been stripped out but a few gems remain and for some reason the water is still on; the place is slightly flooded!
The entrance greeted us with a couple of comforting warnings.
The previous visitors also proved welcoming.
The main operating room.
Don’t worry it’s all going to be ok.
Obligatory switch photo.
God watches over us all…even in death…. I’m surprised they managed to fit a chapel in such a small building. It’s weird how religion creeps into every walk of life.
I’m slightly concerned this may happen in future: