A LOCAL historian has shed light on the origins of the human bones found near a beach in Walney.

Amateur historian, Clive Burgess, has lived on Walney for many years and has recounted the history of the site where the bones were found in July of this year, saying that it was indeed a former burial site.

A police investigation was launched after the bones were found near Thorney Nook by a walker, but in November it was revealed that a forensic anthropologist believed the bones to date between 1440 and 1640.

"In the early 1970’s retired marine engineer Percy Parkinton informed me while out mushrooming with him down Thorney, that when he was a child in the early 1930’s, he and a school mate found some bones at Thorney and partly unearthed part of a skeleton," said Mr Burgess.

"They decided to return the following weekend to see if they could uncover a full skeleton. Which, they managed to do. They however could not keep quiet about this discovery and very soon the police were called. They were taken back to Thorney with the police and the graves were then pointed out.

"After much research it was discovered that this site was indeed an ancient Biggar Village burial ground.

"Biggar Village in those days was a grange of Furness Abbey. It appears in the times after Furness Abbey was shut down by Henry VIII, there was a period of dilemma that caused a lack of religious burials, marriages, services etc.

"It wasn’t until Queen Elizabeth I was made Queen in 1558 that things began to change for the better for Walney folk. In 1564 she ordered a church/ chapel to be built on Walney on the site where St Mary’s church is today.

"The burial ground at Thorney Nook was tipped on at the time by Barrow Council to stop children digging at it. That’s why the land around the car park there is all small hills, hummocks and uneven, unlike the surrounding farm land.

"When this land was used as a burial ground, it was completely different to what is seen today. In front of the burial ground there would have been a large hill/ cliff going out to sea protecting it, as there is further along from Thorney.

"What’s happened over the many years of erosion is that the cliff has disappeared into the sea, leaving the burial ground exposed to the elements were erosion will continue to reveal its ancient ancestors of Biggar Village."