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Buried Alive

As you walk through the gardens to the rear of the Castle and bowling green on the Castle Walk you can not miss the large stone mausoleum sited close to the path on the Priory side of the gardens. This monument has been moved since it was originally constructed and the story goes as follows:

According to some smugglers of Christchurch, and there are still a few, and a book of that name by E. R. Oakley the structure was built as a mausoleum to one Mrs Perkins who died in 1783. This lady faced the horror of being buried alive but before this took place she requested that her body should be interred in a suitable fabric close to the entrance to the local free school which at that time was in St Michaels loft of the Priory. This she said was so that the boys attending the school would hear her if she revived.

She also requested that the lid of the coffin should not be screwed down and the lock on the mausoleum constructed so as to enable her to open it in the spring. These wishes were carried out and she was buried alive but when her husband died in 1803 her body was removed the structure sold and re-erected on the present site. I have as yet been unable to establish why this lady was buried alive. From the gardens there is a very good view of the Castle.