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St. Bride's Church Fleet Street

St Bride’s Church has a long and interesting history and has been a pivotal place of worship within the City of London for many hundreds of years. It has administered during this long period to the living and dead and is still an active church today.

Excavations in the 1950’s by Professor Grimes were carried out as a consequence of the bomb damage incurred to the church during the Second World War. They revealed secrets of the church’s long history of building phases and also a large number of skeletal remains from a medieval charnel house and individuals interred in the crypts. The crypt space for burials were created by Wren in his design of the church after the Great Fire of London in 1666 had destroyed the previous church. The individuals in the crypts were buried over a specific time period and ceased when church crypts were sealed in the 1850's by an Act of Parliament.

The skeletal remains from the St Brides’s crypts are a unique and valuable assemblage for the detailed biographical data available with respect to 227 of the individuals buried in the crypt. The assemblage has 14 sub adults and 213 adults.

St Bride’s Fleet Street and Lower St Bride’s Churchyard, Farringdon are part of the same parish population but represent two different social classes. Lower St Bride’s Churchyard assemblage (FAO90) has already been recorded onto the database and is available on line.

The Centre for Human Bioarchaeology was successful in obtaining funding from CoLAT (City of London Archaeological Trust) to enable the 227 individuals from the crypt to be analysed and recorded on to the Wellcome Osteological Research Database (WORD), with further funding from the Society of Antiquaries of London for the collation of the skeletal data for both sites, archaeological and parish data. The analysis of the crypt individuals is completed and the information will be available by the end of 2009 on line through the Centre’s website.

Access to the skeletal remains is not available to the public but has in the past been obtained by academics for research projects. For any enquiries relating to the skeletal remains the church has requested that they be made through the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology.

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