Exclusive: More than 40 bodies found buried under Aylesbury Vale building site

More than 40 bodies have been found buried in shallow graves on a building site in Aylesbury Vale, we can exclusively reveal.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 3:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 3:40 pm

The bodies are all in skeleton form and are believed to have their hands tied behind their backs.

Although Buckingham did once have its own gallows, many hangings and public executions took place in the county town of Aylesbury. But the bodies still could have been transported to Buckingham, say historians.

They were unearthed during ground works for a new development of 72 retirement flats on former farmland off Brackley Road in Buckingham.

One of the graves. Photos: Jane Russell

But historians and people of the town are accusing the developers, Brio Retirement Living Holdings of hushing up the massive find.

The company, which is part of Places for People, had to commission an archaeological investigation of the site as a condition of winning planning permission.

The 42 bodies were discovered several weeks ago yet nobody has yet seen the archaeologists' report.

Meanwhile, all the skeletons have been removed, leaving just empty holes in the ground that were their graves. It is not known whether there were any artefacts buried with them that could help date the time of their deaths.

The land is close to the cemetery

Even Bucks County Council's Archaeological Service (BCAS) has not seen the report, though they are aware of the discovery.

Now townspeople are demanding the “cover up” ceases.

“This find is of great historical significance to Buckingham and it should not be hushed up,” said district and town councillor Robin Stuchbury.

“I am aware that the bodies were found in December. There were more than 40 of them and they had their hands bound behind their backs, which infers they were prisoners of some kind.

One of the graves. Photos: Jane Russell

“They could date from Anglo Saxon times, when there were killings in Buckingham, or from during the Civil War, which also saw casualties. Or they could be criminals who were hanged on the gallows in the town.

“The fact is, we have a right to know. This is part of our history.”

This newspaper tried to contact Places for People press office, but so far there has been no response.

A spokesman for Bucks County Council said: “We are unable to comment on the archaeological remains discovered at the West End Farm site at present, as we are still awaiting a report detailing the results from the archaeological contractors.”

One of the graves. Photos: Jane Russell

Brio had been battling since 2016 for planning permission to build on the site, which is near Brackley Road cemetery and currently consists of farmland and old barns. They finally won on appeal last year.