Bones found at St. Michael’s

050801   Remains found in st michaels church cemetery, linlithgow.
050801 Remains found in st michaels church cemetery, linlithgow.
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Unearthed bones have been found scattered among tombstones as rabbits burrow tunnels in the graveyard at St. Michael’s parish church in Linlithgow.

On investigation, the Journal and Gazette found a bone which appears to come from a human leg, and a jaw with a couple of teeth still embedded, at the east end of the cemetery where some graves date back hundreds of years.

It is not the first time bones have been spotted, and visitors to the cemetery last June also claimed to have seen a small silver bell, which used to be buried with bodies in the event that they were still alive.

The graveyard is maintained by West Lothian Council. A council spokesman said this type of incident was ‘rare’, adding: “It appears that rabbits have unearthed several bones from a grave at St. Michael’s Cemetery.

“We were made aware on Wednesday morning and took appropriate action to resolve the situation quickly and sensitively.

‘‘Our cemeteries staff worked with church representatives to reinter the remains in a respectful manner.

‘‘Our staff are committed to ensuring that all cemeteries are maintained to the highest standards and we will continue to monitor the cemetery .”

He added that controlling wild rabbits in the area was very difficult but said the council was in discussions with Historic Scotland, owners of the Peel, to put in place measures to control the rabbit population.

Rev Stewart Gillan of St Michael’s confirmed that 
every few years bones were reinterred in a dignified way.