Whilst continuing our audit of the social history store at Burymead we have come across two interesting items; they are a human jawbone and an incomplete set of teeth.

The first object, the jawbone was dug up in the grounds of Hitchin Priory in 1852 and is believed to be that of a young male.


The second item is an incomplete set of human teeth with some detail of them being from the body of a Joan Biggs who was a suicide victim who was later exhumed in 1906 from what we believe to be the crossroads by the Radcliffe pub in Hitchin. The body was exhumed as the grave had become a landmark.


We have attempted to research who Joan Biggs was, but so far have been unable to find a record of her so feel she may have been from another area or perhaps an asylum or almshouse.

If you have any further information regarding these two items please comment on the post and we will be in touch!

One Response to Local Curiosities at Burymead

  • Two of the teeth aren’t human: the far left is a dog’s molar, while the fifth from the right is a dog’s canine. If you look carefully, you can see that they are a slightly different colour (more yellowish).

    Two of the (human) molars have holes caused by dental caries (the third and fifth from the left, respectively). Apart from these, which probably gave poor Joan horrible toothache, the unworn state of her teeth indicates that she was a young woman.

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