Rothwell Open Day

Below you will find a release regarding the upcoming Rothwell Open Day.  This is a fantastic opportunity that shouldn’t be missed if you have the day free!

An exciting new project between the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology and Rothwell Holy Trinity Church, Northamptonshire, is inviting the public to get involved.

Rothwell houses a rare medieval (c.1066—1550) ossuary, a collection of disinterred human bones, housed in a deliberately constructed building, called a ‘charnel chapel.’  It is one of only two surviving medieval ossuaries in England.  Since its discovery c.1700, little research has been undertaken in relation to the site.

The Rothwell Charnel Chapel Project aims to conduct extensive research into this fascinating example of previously unrecognised medieval funerary activity and human bone curation.  A current programme of osteological analysis, funerary research, plus conservation plans, are underway at Rothwell, initiated in Autumn 2012.

As part of this Project, a family-friendly Open Day is taking place at Holy Trinity Church, Saturday 10th August (from 11am-4pm for activities and tours; 6pm-8pm for talks).  All members of the public, academics, and students are invited to come and find out more about the project, contribute local knowledge of the site and Rothwell, and tell us what research they would like to see done.

The event is open to all and is free of charge.  Activities will include: human bone analysis taster sessions; crypt, ossuary and church tours; an introduction to the project; and a series of evening lectures by staff and students from Sheffield who are currently conducting research involving the crypt and ossuary.  Everyone is welcome, even if you know nothing about bones or the medieval period!

More details can be found at the project’s Facebook group or the University of Sheffield Osteology Lab wesbsite.

If you are curious about the sort of things you can expect to see on the day – here is a little teaser!*

Rothwell Charnel Chapel

*In addition to the activities taking place for the Open Day, Rothwell is a delightful village and even if it did not have an incredible charnel chapel it would fully deserve a visit (but it does have one, so you should absolutely go, no questions asked)!

[UPDATE: There is now an awesome article on Past Horizons by Jennifer Crangle, all about the Rothwell Charnel Chapel and Ossuary Project. You can also read an interview with Jennifer did with the Penny Show all about her PhD research here.]

[UPDATE UPDATE: There will be super fun science-y face painting at the Open Day!]

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