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Fotheringhay 1991

Fotheringhay is a village probably best known for its castle and its tragic association with the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. The parish church of St. Mary's and All Saints at Fotheringhay, once the dynastic mausoleum of the House of York, now consists of a magnificent perpendicular nave, all that is left of the 15th century Collegiate Church of the Annunciation and All Saints.


Installation of new bells in 1991 initiated the discovery ad subsequent excavation of a forgotten ossuary beneath the floor of the north porch which was contemporary with the 15th century rebuilding, (NGR TL05959315). A large amount of the original stained window glass has been used to create a new window in the priest’s room above the porch. The room had been filled in at the beginning of the 19th century during restoration. A large carved ashlar block removed in the excavation, is of smaller dimensions than those of the remaining church and may be the only known remnant of the claustral buildings. Documentary evidence has been found which places the school and masters house to the north of the demolished collegiate choir. 


Northamptonshire Archaeology, 29, 2000-01 161-192. Excavation of an Ossuary at Fotheringhay Church, Northants. Gill Johnston

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