St Mary Spital Charnel House, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets
Address: Bishops Square, London E1. OS Grid Reference TQ 334819
Access: Abundant local transport. Car parking (charge) in Spital Square. Rail and Underground close by at Liverpool Street. Disabled access.
Open: at all times.
The remains of a building from about 1320, which was used for storing the bones of the dead. You can see a large vaulted chamber behind the ruined walls illustrated here. This was part of the St Mary Spital complex which included an Augustinian priory, an infirmary, a church and a cemetery. The priory was closed in 1539, the bones removed and a house built above the site.
It is thought that parts of the masonry may date back to the 12th century. The Charnel house was rediscovered in 1999 and has been enclosed in glass and can be seen from above and from one side. Information about the site is etched onto the glass side wall, which is accessed by a flight Of Steps.
Note also a collection of small artefacts from the site, displayed in panels in the pavement of the square. Numerous cafés and other facilities are open in the area during office hours.