Archaeologists investigate mystery of young Civil War woman buried in unusual grave in Oxford


Archaeologists believe a young female wrapped in a pin-fastened shroud, carefully buried during the English Civil War of the mid-16th century and discovered beneath garden soil at a college site in Oxford, was still in rigor mortis when she entered her grave, having died while sleeping or in bed.

Excavators were surprised to find the grave of the woman, who had coins from the period near her head, in an unusual placement outside of consecrated or church land at the St Cross College development. The listed medieval wall of a palace, the remains of 18th and 19th century buildings, wells and gardens and a Quaker’s House have also been unearthed.

“The discovery has been accompanied by much speculation in the local press as to the mystery behind who she was and why she had been buried in a garden during the 17th century,” says Carl Champness, of Oxford Archaeology. Read more.

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