Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Geology, Palaeontology & Archaeology => Topic started by: TheMoon on 08/03/2019 23:35:10

Title: Where were executed criminals buried around Gallows Hill in Chester?
Post by: TheMoon on 08/03/2019 23:35:10
I have been doing a little research which is a bit of a contextual mess, but I wish to try to link some past geology with the ways of life of people who lived in England from 15-1800s.
In particular, I am/was wondering about resources that so-called wise people around that time might have used to treat the sick.  This brought my attention to the use of capital punishment around that time, including those who were executed under the Witchcraft Act - some sources say that Gallows Hill in Chester had been used as an execution site since mid 1500 - 1800, while others say from 1600. 

As I understand it, Gallows Hill was used until the government decided to move executions to inside prisons, where
the condemned would be buried inside the prison walls (until a later amendment by parliament made it so that
prisoners' bodies could be sent home). 

Concerning pre 1900s, another source that I read, wrote about prison conditions in Chester and how the cellars that the condemned were kept in made it impossible for them to lie or stand.  The cellars were a foot or so above ground level and I thought this data might be linked to another source that mentioned something about shallow soil and bedrock beneath it, so workers could not drill through.

1) I have no data about where those executed on Gallows Hill were laid to rest.  How possible is it that they were
laid to rest, if not cremated, inside the hill?

2) If the source about shallow soil in Chester is right, then are all burial places there on hills?

3) Is there a way to tell, without testing or digging into soil, if a significant portion of land has bedrock so close to ground level?