As the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury for centuries, Lambeth Palace, which sits on the south bank of the River Thames in London might be expected to have its fair share of graves of prominent people in history.
However, recent building work at the now deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth has unearthed some incredible and totally unexpected findings. Despite every corner of this old church being carefully examined and renovated over the years, builders have just discovered the remains of several Archbishops of Canterbury from the 17th century beneath a medieval parish church in south-west London.
The renovation team were lifting flagstones and exposing the ground in the church when they uncovered what looked like an entry to a tomb. To search the void, located next to Lambeth Palace, they used a mobile phone camera as their guide.
Incredibly the builders had discovered an ancient crypt that contains around 30 lead coffins which are believed to include the earthly remains of five Archbishops of Canterbury that date back to the 1660s.
In fact, on top of one coffin, the mitre of an archbishop, glowing in the dark could be seen.
The parish church of St Mary-at-Lambeth was built opposite Westminster in the 11th century by the sister of Edward the Confessor.
It was the chosen burial place for various Archbishops of Canterbury from the 1660s.
The coffins contain the remains of Richard Bancroft, who oversaw the production of the revolutionary King James Bible in 1611, as well as clergyman John Moore and his wife, Catherine Moore.