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St Bees Man
In 1981 a dig took place in the area to the south east of the Priory church, behind the ruined wall on the right as one enters the church grounds via the vehicular access. The ruined wall is all that remains of an extension of the church erected around 1300 but later abandoned. The archaeologists explored the floor area of this extension, finding 12 human burials, two in a large stone-lined vault.
In the vault was a lead coffin and next to it, a female skeleton, the female burial clearly being a secondary burial. When opened the lead coffin was found to contain a perfectly preserved man wrapped in a shroud. He was to become known as St Bees Man.
St Bees Man is the most perfectly preserved body from medieval times found in this country that has received a full scientific examination.
A small displays tells the brief story and a booklet is available with more details about him and the lady beside him.
More information can be found on this web site at St Bees Man .