AS part of our weekly Crime Files series, we are taking a look back at the archives to bring you stories from Herefordshire's history.
The following story dates from 1842.

MYSTERY swirled in a Herefordshire village in 1842 after a skeleton was found near a rectory.

The grisly discovery was made when human remains turned up just a foot below the surface near the rectory house in Kenchester, near Hereford.

Hereford newspapers reported at the time that the remains were found doubled up, as if thrust into a shallow grave at the spot in which they were found.


In a decision that would no doubt cause public outrage today, no further action was reportedly taken at the time as, it was reported "the locality forbids the supposition that murder was committed".

This was because the area is the site of a small Roman town, with various finds over the years including coins, pottery, mosaic flooring, and the remains of various buildings and pavements.

The press at the time was clearly suspicious, with one report stating that "it is hardly credible that these bones should have retained the form of humanity from the time that the Romans were occupiers of the soil".

But despite their suspicions, the skeleton's identity would remain a mystery, making it quite possible that someone had got away with murder.