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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 12:37 GMT
Bodies removed as ground expands
Work has started on exhuming 50 Victorian corpses from a site next to county cricket ground in order to make way for a bigger playing area.

Archaeologists are removing the bodies from the graveyard beside Somerset County Cricket Club in Taunton.

Until they crumbled away, headstones in the graveyard of St James's Church had been struck by cricket balls for more than 100 years.

At the end of a two-year campaign, the club won final approval for expansion.

International standards

Somerset County Cricket Club bought a section of the consecrated ground for 75,000.

Following consultation with the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the club purchased a corner of the churchyard and will now enlarge the ground by the seven yards required for it to meet international standards.

What remains of the skeletons will be placed in a single box and buried under a new hill designed for cricket spectators.

Sally Donohue, of the cricket club, said: "The work must be done in a very reverent and seemly manner with no press or public watching the bodies. Anyone who does try to turn up will be chased off."

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