Tale of coffins is dead interesting

PUBLISHED: 11:36 04 December 2009 | UPDATED: 22:04 31 May 2010

Henry Blackie in the vaults of Deben Church Picture: SUBMITTED

Henry Blackie in the vaults of Deben Church Picture: SUBMITTED

THE mystery of 15 ancient coffins will finally be revealed at an exhibition – three years after they were found in Debden. Former churchwarden Henry Blackie has been researching the history of 16 coffins located under the Chancel at Debden Church. And, a

THE mystery of 15 ancient coffins will finally be revealed at an exhibition - three years after they were found in Debden.

Former churchwarden Henry Blackie has been researching the history of 16 coffins located under the Chancel at Debden Church. And, after a lengthy research process, he has now identified all but one.

He said: "Over the last two years I have shown visitors around the vaults but never been able to tell them who was buried there. Now, with the help of a digital camera and research on the internet and in the Saffron Walden library, I have been able to identify all but one of the occupants."

The vaults are opened only once a year and contain the 16 coffins in two rooms.

The vaults - which house the coffins in two rooms - are only opened once a year.

Now Mr Blackie will be on hand to explain to visitors who the occupants are at a 'Historic Debden' exhibition on Saturday (December 5).

The church will also contain an exhibition of village photographs taken as far back the 1920s, as well as historic artefacts from the last 100 years of Debden's history including parts from aircraft shot down in the Second World War. Debden Local History Group will also be exhibiting.

The event runs between 11am and 3.30pm. Admission to the vaults is £1.50 for adults and 50p for children. Light lunches and other refreshments will be available. There will be a competition for the best Debden Sandwich cake and an opportunity to guess the weight of a Scripture Cake.


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