REDCAR – Skeleton found on the East Banks
Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 06/10/1871
The Skeleton Found on the East Banks
On Saturday last, as two young men were walking along the beach to the east of Redcar, they observed in the face of the hills some bones protruding, and ascertaining that they were human remains, they appraised the local “limb of the law” of the fact, and he thereupon took means to have them disinterred. This being completed, only the skull, arm bones, ribs and spine could be made out, the legs being wholly absent, and from the position in which it was found – the skull resting on the ribs – it was afterwards contended that some foul play had been the cause of death. The remains were on top of the bed of clay which forms the basis of the sandhills towards Marske, and the earth and sand immediately above it appeared to be a mixed as though it had been disturbed, whilst on each side there is a black layer of black loam contiguous to the clay and above that the sand, both quite distinct. The heavy seas of last week have considerably encroached upon the hills along the coast, as may be seen by the large patches of clay and small mounds of sod lying immediately under them on the shore, and this cause has brought the bones to the light of day again. It is conjecture that they were those of a full grown person, and a young one, because all the teeth were sound with the exception of two, which were hollowed out in semicircles as if the person had been an inveterate smoker, and had there held his pipe. From these circumstances it was judged that the remains were those of a male. An inquest was held on Tuesday, when it was stated that the remains had probably been buried about 20 years, and the absence of evidence an open verdict was returned. We have since learned that long before the erection of Redcar Church, the bodies cast up by the sea were buried in the hills near the place where they were found, and this skeleton was probably such a one. It is asserted by the “ancients” in Redcar that the numbers of such might be met within the hills if they are thoroughly examined, as also could treasures and other valuables, which are said to have been therein buried and were never found again when the inhabitants were in fear of the French landing and sacking the place. In a contemporary it is suggested that these are the remains of a gamekeeper named Fishwick, who was lost sight of 24 years ago (and not 25 as asserted) It states that nothing has been heard of him since, but we may remark that some years ago a skeleton was unearthed near the new battery, which had been laid in lime, and which was identified by his friends as being that of the person in question from certain teeth that were wanting in the skull.
dean July 24, 2011 Redcar