The corpse is ready…

A dim light flashed across the waters of the Forth would send a signal to the resurrection men on the other side that a fresh corpse was ready for lifting. Climbing into their rowing boat, an arduous journey lay ahead of the men determined to get a subject for the dissecting table. 
This is the remote, yet beautiful site of St Bridget’s Kirk, Dalgetty Bay. 

Climb to the top of the ruined church and rest a while to contemplate the movements of the resurrection men. The waves crashing against the shoreline, a rowing boat containing three men trying in vain to land within a few meters of the churchyard.

Climbing out of the boat, the bodysnatchers would either have with them their tools; spade, hooks, rope and sack or they would already have paid the sexton to have the cadaver ready for them when they arrived. Chances are, that if the sexton had been bribed, the corpse may already be folded, packed and ready for shipment when the bodysnatchers arrived. If however, the cadaver was for their own use, a hessian sack – it didn’t have to be clean – was all that was needed.

But corruption was rife at the kirk and a watch-house was built on the site. Not easily seen from the waters edge, the watch-house was a simple affair. With the window pointing away from both the kirkyard and the waters of the Forth, you have to question the usefulness of this structure. Were the builders in the pay of the resurrection men as well?

The corpse secured in the boat, the resurrection men would make their return journey back across the Forth only to disembark and disappear into the City of Edinburgh with their next ‘subject’ in tow. Perhaps they will be called across the waters again before the week is out?

3 thoughts on “The corpse is ready…

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