28. Mar, 2021

A Cooling Charnel

I decided that I had unfinished business on the Cliffe Peninsula in Kent, an area that featured strongly in the writings of Charles Dickens. Cooling Church was mentioned in “Great Expectations” in the bit where Magwitch had escaped from a prison hulk and encountered young Pip in the churchyard.

I have been meaning to visit the Charnel House in Cliffe for a long time and today’s the day. The Charnel was built in the mid-19th century and used as a makeshift mortuary until bodies were taken away to be buried. Its location close to the River Thames was significant as any bodies found on the foreshore or floating in the river were taken to the Charnel House to await identification and burial. However, it was clear that if men died on the ships travelling up and down the Thames they would often just be dropped into the river to avoid the expense of burial. In a similar vein, the villagers would sometimes push washed-up bodies back into the river in the hope they would be washed further upriver so that another parish would have the expense of dealing with them.

There was an Earthcache at the Charnel but I had other places to visit before I got there. As dawn broke, I was at the CM multi at Higham - St John but although the CO saying that the info is still correct, the cache is still missing which was very disappointing.🙁

So I drove up to Cliffe picking up three trads on the way and then the trad VS before parking up by the church. I found the CM multi which was based on the crash nearby of a Stirling bomber in 1942. As this multi brought me close to the Charnel House, I sorted out the information on the flint construction for later.

I was now off to Cooling for a couple of caches that I had failed at previously, taking in one of the TuGS C&D series. I parked up near Cooling Castle which I now know is owned by Jools Holland. I tried to find one of the Cooling Crawl series and the bonus cache but again no joy.🙁

Deciding to give this series an all time swerve, I drove down to High Halstow for a couple of caches. I eventually found the 2.5/2 trad In with the Ivy but couldn’t get all the info for the VS multi. 🙁

Time was getting on and I wanted to end the morning so I drove down to Hoo St Werburgh for the CM multi. This was only a 1.5/1.5 but I had to search the grave yard for a military memorial for the information. Luckily I found what I wanted on the sixth one I found. After working out the coords, I had to do a half mile walk. This multi deserved a much higher D/T.🤔

1 Earthcache 2 Multi 6 Traditional