Things Bajan: Chase Vault

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 09 November 2012

thingsbajansite

For the month of November, we will focus on things Barbados as this country celebrates its independence. Every day we will be highlighting Barbadian sayings, artefacts unique to the country, as well as personalities, icons, some places and things that reflect Barbados. Chase Vault is today’s focus of Things Bajan. The Chase Vault is located in the cemetery of the Christ Church Parish Church. It is owned by the Chase family and was first used in 1807 to bury a woman and the following year to inter a baby in a lead coffin. Later, the body of a second adult, also in a lead coffin, was placed in the vault, making three bodies, but when the vault was opened to admit a fourth body, the two lead coffins were found to be in disarray, with that of the baby upside down in the opposite corner to the one ini which it was placed as if it had been thrown there. On two occasions when the vault was opened for further burials, the lead coffins were again found as if they had been fighting. Although sand was placed on the floor, no foot prints were every found. The mouth of the vault was sealed in cement, and secret marks made, yet neither the seal nor the secret marks were disturbed, which ruled out pranksters, and it would have required at least eight strong men to shift those lead coffins. Finally, the mystery, still unsolved, the coffins were removed at the request of the families and buried in separate graves. The Chase Vault remains unused until this day. • Source: A-Z Of Barbadian Heritage.

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