On the floor of the Chancel of St. Mary's Church there are several slabs with the names of those buried beneath; it was also customary for the priest of the parish to be buried in the Chancel. On the floor of the Nave there are slabs beneath which members of the Moundeford family lie buried. The last burial inside St. Mary's Church was that of Catherine, widow of the Rev. William Newcome and youngest daughter of the Rev. Cyrill Clough; she died 14th May, 1875, aged 88 years, and was buried in the Nave in front of the Screen. These, however, are by no means the only people buried inside the Church. St. Mary and St. Nicholas are ancient Churches and there can be little doubt that like other ancient churches they are filled throughout with bodies or remains of bodies. The custom of burying inside the Church, intramural burial as it is called, was carried to such an extent that many churches, packed as they were with bodies decomposing in shallow graves, were mere pest houses and are said to have been the cause of outbreaks of plague and pestilence. Dr. Cox, the Antiquary, quotes the case of St. Neots, a small parish church in Cornwall, inside which no less than 548 people were buried during the years 1606-1707. The regular fee for intramural burial was 6/8 in the Nave and 13/4 in the Chancel; it was known as Pit Money, the pit being another name for the grave. Burial inside the Church was encouraged by Wardens as an easy way of raising funds. In those days 6/8 was a heavy fee and beyond the pockets of many; there is an epitaph to this effect at Dawlish, in Devonshire, which says:-
Here I lie at the Church Door,
Here I lie because I am poor.
The further in the more to pay,
Here I lie as warm as they."
Not only Churches but also Churchyards, especially in Town Parishes, became crowded from continuous burial and most Churches had a Charnel House or Bone Hole as it was called, usually under the floor of the Chancel. These vaults were for the disposal of bones unearthed when the ground of the churchyard was disturbed to make room for a fresh burial. Without doubt there are Bone Holes, though now sealed up, at both St. Nicholas and St. Mary's.
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