In May the Foundation was contacted by Northern Visions about the making of a documentary on Shankill graveyard in Belfast as part of its Insider investigative series. When the graveyard was ‘tidied’ in the 1950s many of the memorials were smashed and dumped in the River Farset running alongside the western edge of the graveyard. Through the cooperation of the Rivers Agency, a search was carried out for fragments of gravestones in the Farset.

Some were discovered, but the most startlingly discovery was that of a pit of skulls in the earthen bank between the graveyard fence and the Farset. The police were called and a forensic archaeologist brought to the site. The most likely explanation is that these were remains discovered during the 1950s clean-up of Shankill and for the sake of convenience were deposited in a pit just outside the current boundary of the graveyard. The documentary was broadcast on Belfast Community television as ‘What lies beneath?’

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