Crypts and Charnel Houses
A salon in the cemetery with Jane Sidell and Malcolm Johnson

Sunday 18th October from 3:30 to 5:00 pm 

Eighty percent of people who die in the UK today are cremated, a practice which is causing us to lose touch with the customs and art forms of burial. London's crypts and charnel houses - the traditional repositories of human remains - offer fascinating and sometimes macabre and piquant insights into the social, cultural and religious history of the capital.

Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's Gin Cocktail. 

After the Great Fire of 1666 there was a frenzy of church building in the City of London. These new buildings had spacious crypts, allowing unscrupulous clergymen to earn extra cash by permitting wealthy parishioners pay to be interred there. 

MALCOLM JOHNSON will relate stories of the recent discoveries made as these subterranean vaults have been gradually cleared to house modern day restaurants and wine bars.

DR JANE SIDELL will uncover the fascinating history of the Spitalfields Charnel House - one of London's original repositories of medieval cadavers. Built on the site of a burial ground dating back to the Roman occupation, it was once part of the medieval Hospital of St Mary without Bishopsgate where it stored the bones of thousands of people who died during the great famine of the thirteenth century.