Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Grim Discovery

In 1856 Mrs Smith, the wife of the new tenant of Llanbachowey, Llanbedr Painscastle lifted the stone lid of a recently discovered walled-up water closet. Perhaps she was hoping to find some treasure hidden by a previous occupant. Instead Mrs Smith found the remains of four dead infants.

A surgeon who examined the find speculated that the corpses had been deposited over a period of time, perhaps 20 or 30 years previously, and that they had been sprinkled with quick lime in an attempt to hide any smell. Enquiries of former servants at the farm led nowhere and the coroner had no choice but to record a verdict of wilful murder by a person or persons unknown.

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