A watercolor of Lambeth Palace painted in the 18th century. Image Credit: J. M. W. Turner
The remains of five former Archbishops of Canterbury have been unearthed under a medieval parish church.
Builders working on renovating the Garden Museum at the site of the church of St Mary-at-Lambeth in London have discovered a hidden crypt containing more than 30 lead coffins.
Dating back to the 1660s, the caskets are believed to contain the remains of five former archbishops - Richard Bancroft, John Moore, Frederick Cornwallis, Matthew Hutton and Thomas Tenison.
One of the coffins even has a crown placed on top of it.
"This church had two lives: it was the parish church of Lambeth, this little village by the riverâ€¦but it was also a kind of annex to Lambeth Palace itself," said museum director Christopher Woodward.
"And over the centuries a significant number of the archbishops' families and archbishops themselves chose to worship here, and chose to be buried here."
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