The Ossuary at St Leonard’s Church

St Leonards, Hythe, Kent

On one of my more bizarre days out with my Pentax ME Super was to Hythe, in Kent. The parish church of St Leonards has an “Ossuary”, no I didn’t know that that was either! Another name is “bone house”.


There are many theories as to who and why these are in the crypt. The most recent and most likely correct is that of a survey that took place between 2009-2012 which reported that:

“they were Hythe residents who died over a long period and had been buried in the churchyard (evidenced by the deposits of soil within the skulls), and that the earliest of the remains were dug up in the 13th century when the church was extended eastwards over their previous graves. However, this number of individuals is high for ‘Hythe only’ residents, and the collection probably includes bones from four graveyards in the Hythe area that are said to have fallen out of use and closed by 1500”

You can read the full story here

One of the estimated 1200 skulls in the Ossuary
“Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it.” — Haruki Murakami

3 thoughts on “The Ossuary at St Leonard’s Church

    1. Hi Peggy, it’s certainly worth a visit if you find yourself in that part of the world! Quite an odd experience to be confronted with! I admired your post with regard to buying a couple of cameras from a Ukrainian seller by the way – I intend to follow where you’ve lead! All best wishes – Andy


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