Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Weeping Tomb of Wonersh, Surrey

A liquid of a very different kind formerly oozed from a tomb at Wonersh. The church, dedicated to St John the Baptist is a pretty medieval church, parts of which date back to the 11th century, standing beside the river, but the bizarre liquid has nothing to do with the stream. The so-called “weeping tomb” is a table top structure decorated with brass shields that stands beside the screen to the chancel. It is made of marble and dates to the 16th century.

Nobody knows when it began to weep, but the mysterious manifestation was certainly in place by the later 18th century. Each year in early October a sticky brown liquid would begin to seep out of a crack near the base of the tomb. The viscous fluid would flow for a couple of weeks, then cease - until the following October.

Theories have long abounded as to what this was. Some suggested that it was cassia - a type of embalming fluid containing cinnamon that was used in former centuries. Why it should flow and dry up so regularly was never explained, though perhaps it had something to do with the chill weather and wet atmosphere of autumn. Others suggested that it was caused by some hidden water source under the church that intermittently raised the water table, initiating the flow when the autumn rains came. Others said it was the tomb weeping on the anniversary of the death of its occupant.

In truth nobody knows what the liquid was nor why the tomb wept so regularly. It is unlikely that we shall ever find out. In the 1950s the church was the subject of various repairs and modernisations, in the course of which the crack in the marble of the weeping tomb was cemented closed. The tomb weeps no more.

from PARANORMAL SURREY by Rupert Matthews.
Buy your copy HERE.

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