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Can you help solve this Houghton-le-Spring mystery? because canny Bernard Gilpin is in knots over it!

Can your memory help solve this mystery?

THE INFANTS' TOMB

The illustration, from the Gentleman's Magazine of Jan-June 1865, shows an unusual memorial in St Michael & All Angels churchyard. It was described as:

"...thought to have been intended for a memorial of twins dying in infancy ... [the memorial measured: height - 9.5 in; length - 2 ft 1in; width at broader end where crosses are - 1ft 10.5 in; at other end - 1ft 8.5 in.] ...it was found built up in a wall at the restoration of the church, and is now preserved in the churchyard."

The Infants' Tomb in the churchyard of St Michael & All Angels, Houghton-le-Spring, circa 1865

The Church was restored/remodelled in 1857 & 1858. On February 26th 1859 it reopened following the restoration work - could this have been when the stone was moved into the Churchyard?

The Infants' Tomb in the churchyard of St Michael & All Angels, Houghton-le-Spring, circa 1865

Paul Lanagan said: This mystery has finally been solved! In April 2012 we confirmed that the Infants Tomb is located in the South Transept of St Michael & All Angels Church, and although broken into two pieces, it is nice to know that Bernard Gilpin is watching over the infants - as his large altar tomb is alongside them!

 

Article and research by Paul Lanagan, local historian

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PAGE UPDATED: 07/04/2012