A Burial and a Key

This could almost class as archaeology. Those who have watched the TV programme Time Team will know the form. You open a trench and see what you find. Of course on Time Team a lot of preliminary work has been done and mostly they know what to expect. We are not sure what James Winchcombe, undertaker, expected when he was digging a grave in 2002 at St Mary’s, Market Lavington. This was in what gets called the old part of the graveyard and it was being re-used, so there presumably was a chance of finds.

Nothing ghoulish was found. In fact what appeared was a key – a pleasing, quite large key believed to be for a lockable chest and dating from the 19th century. After 100 plus years in the ground it was rusty.

19th century key found whilst grave digging in Market Lavington church yard

19th century key found whilst grave digging in Market Lavington church yard

If you happen to know anyone who might have lost this key – then tell them, ‘hard luck’. It is part of the Market Lavington Museum collection.

Incidentally, the person the grave was being prepared for, in 2002 was Mrs Margaret Marston, known as Betty. Margaret had been born as Margaret Beatrice Burt in 1922.

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