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Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Remains Rediscovered

Friday, April 13, 2018

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeLONDON, ENGLAND—According to a report in The Guardian, the lead coffins of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his family have been found in the cellar of St. Michael’s Church, which was built in 1831 on London’s Highgate Hill. When Coleridge died in 1834, he was buried in the chapel at the nearby Highgate School. But in 1961, the coffins were moved from the chapel’s crumbling vault to St. Michael's. There, they were stored in an area that had been the wine cellar of a mansion that previously stood on the site. The door to the cellar was bricked up. Since then, the exact location of the coffins had been forgotten and they languished amid the rubble from the demolished mansion that still litters the cellar. A recent investigation of the cellar, however, found the entrance to the wine vault, and the coffins were spotted through a ventilation gap in the bricks. It turned out the coffins were situated just under an inscription on a memorial slab in the nave of the church reading, “Beneath this stone lies the body of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.” “So that was a bit of a clue really,” said Drew Clode, a member of the parish. To read about another discovery in London, go to “A Cornucopia of Condiments.”

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