Remains of 17th Century Scottish soldiers to be laid to rest in Durham
(24 August 2016)
Following extensive consultation, Durham University has decided that the remains of the soldiers, discovered in a mass grave on the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be reburied in Durham City.
It is intended that the soldiers’ final resting place will be the Elvet Hill Road Cemetery in Durham City, less than a mile from where their remains were discovered in November 2013. They will also be commemorated with a plaque near to the site where they were discovered.
Reburial will take place once the current programme of research on the remains is completed; this is likely to be sometime in late 2017.
Durham University will apply to the Ministry of Justice to extend the timescale of the exhumation licence, to allow this research to be completed. More information about the research is available on a dedicated Scottish Soldiers Project Research Blog.
A small sample of teeth will be retained from the skeletons to allow for future research as new techniques and opportunities become available.
The University’s Project Team has undertaken wide-ranging consultation to help inform its decisions about what should happen next to the remains.
Professor David Cowling, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities at Durham University, said: "The decision on where to rebury the soldiers was very complex.
"We were acutely aware of the strength and depth of interest amongst many about the fate of these soldiers, whilst at the same time recognising our ethical, moral and legal obligations.
"All options were explored fully by the project team and in the end it was felt that the case for reburying the remains in Durham was strongest."
More about these decisions is available on the Reburial and Commemoration pages.