Beds, Herts & Bucks

'Anglo-Saxon' skeletons found on Buckingham care home site

Building site
Image caption The site where the bodies were discovered is next to the cemetery in Buckingham

A number of "unusual burials" including skeletons with hands tied behind their backs have been discovered on the site of a planned care home.

The bodies were uncovered during excavations ahead of work at West End Farm, on Brackley Road in Buckingham.

It is believed about 40 bodies were found in December as first reported in the MK Citizen.

Historian Ed Grimsdale said he believed they were Anglo-Saxon and it could be "one of the biggest finds" of its kind.

Buckinghamshire County Archaeology Service said it was waiting for results of the post-excavation analysis.

It said it would show how old the burials were, details of age and gender of the buried and their cause of death, but it could take "months" for results to come back.

Mr Grimsdale, a historian for Buckingham Old Gaol Museum and the Buckingham Society, said: "This is potentially the biggest find of executed prisoners in the whole of the South of England in Anglo-Saxon times."

The Anglo-Saxon period lasted from 410 to 1066.

Image caption Plans for the site were approved last year despite opposition from Buckingham Town Council

Bill Chapple, the Conservative councillor responsible for planning at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: "This is obviously a very important site for Buckingham, with a fascinating story.

"We look forward to sharing the results once we have them."

Robin Stuchbury, a Labour councillor on Aylesbury Vale District and Buckingham Town councils, said he believed the bodies "numbered up to 40" and the findings should be released at the "earliest possibility".

He said the find "could fit into the building of a bigger picture of the greater history of Buckingham".

The care home, next to the town's cemetery, would see 72 self-contained flats built for residents 55 or over.

The home's developer has been asked to comment.

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