Ossuary (Charnel House)
Merrian-Webster: Ossuary - a depository for the bones of the dead.
Funk & Wagnell: Charnel House - a place where dead bodies or bones are laid.
Comments by John Palmer - Beyond the fortified town of Marville, is a hill with, at its foot, a gothic cross. Two roads lead up to the hill summit; a winding, metalled road, the other being an ancient straight death road, embanked like a hollow road and lined with trees. This leads to the cemetery of Saint Hilaire with a 12th century church at its centre. All about there are sculptured gravestones, including a number carved during the 15th century. In one corner is an ossuary in which are stacked some 40,000 skulls, some of these are enclosed in a wooden case, in which there is an opening, so that the skulls, which are called "horloges de mort", can be seen. Above them in Olde French is the undeniable claim "As you are I was once, as I am you will be".
Updated: June 23, 2005