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Friday, 29 November, 2002, 08:56 GMT
Graves plan could delay rail link
The graves at St Pancras
The most recent grave dates back to 1854
Work on the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link could be delayed and costs could spiral due to plans to exhume scores of graves which lie along the route.

CTRL, the consortium heading the project, came under intense criticism for its plans to dig up gravestones, coffins and human remains near London's St Pancras railway station, north London.

After talks with the Church of England, CTRL decided on a different, more expensive and time-consuming method to carry out the delicate process.

CTRL spokesman Paul Ravenscroft said the company recognised its "moral obligation" in carrying out the "necessary" work to connect King's Cross to the tunnel.

Eurostar
The link will bring Eurostar trains to St Pancras

He said: "We have met with the representatives of the Church of England and will continue to meet with the aim of reassuring them that their concerns have been taken into account in a proposed change to the method of exhumation.

"The work is being undertaken by a specialist contractor and the removals away from public view."

The remains will be reburied in a north London cemetery.

But he added: "This could have serious implications to the cost of the project and for its completion date and it will be a challenge for us to minimise its effects."

Contact relatives

Archaeologists had originally been given until January to identify the graves from headstones and coffin plates and possibly contact living relatives.

They also hope to gather important archaeological and historic evidence of life in London during the Industrial Revolution.

The most recent grave in the Camley Street cemetery - which was first used in 1972 - dates back to 1854.

There are around 4,000 graves and many of those are of aristocratic French émigrés who fled to England after the French Revolution.

But CTRL has now ordered the archaeologists off the site.

English Heritage, curator of the site and responsible for advising the builders, said the company was sending in the bulldozers because it wants to "make up time" on the project.


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29 Aug 02 | England
16 Apr 02 | England
02 Apr 02 | Business
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