Crossrail Builders Unearth 30 Bodies in 1665 Plague Pit

By James O Malley on at

Excavators who are digging up around Liverpool Street in London to build the new Crossrail station have stumbled upon a mass grave containing bodies buried in 1665.

The Independent reports that a grave was found labelled 1665, and as the bodies were buried together it suggests that they were all victims of Plague.

Coincidentally (and perhaps a little too conveniently), the discovery came on the 350th anniversary of England's last major outbreak of Bubonic Plague. The burial ground is thought to be the Bedlam burial ground, named for the famous mental hospital - though only a small fraction of the burials are former patients at the hospital. It was in use between 1569 and 1738.

To support the announcement of the find, Crossrail has released the above 360-degree video, which seems to work on YouTube. So strap on your Oculus Rift, or more realistically click and drag whilst playing the video above to look around the dig site.

The grave is far from the first to be found. Since construction of the new railway began in 2009 grave discoveries have been a regular occurrence along the future line - providing a goldmine for archaeologists and no doubt a bit of a headache for engineers. [The Independent]