It is a perfect Easter story except, unlike Jesus’s empty tomb after the Resurrection, this tomb is crammed with the remains of former Archbishops of Canterbury.
Last year, during the refurbishment of the Garden Museum, which is housed in a deconsecrated medieval parish church next to Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s official London residence, builders made the discovery of a lifetime: a cache of 30 lead coffins that had lain undisturbed for centuries.
Closer inspection revealed metal plates bearing the names of five former Archbishops of Canterbury, going back to the early 1600s.
Building site managers Karl Patten and Craig Dick made the find by chance, as the former chancel at St Mary-at-Lambeth was being converted into an exhibition space. Stripping some stone to even out the precarious flooring and enable disabled access to the old altar, they accidentally cut a six-inch diameter hole in the floor and noticed a hidden chamber beneath.
More Via: nationalpost