Human skull found in Hugh Myddelton Primary School may lead to police investigation

Excavating the site at Hugh Myddleton Primary School

A human skull discovered underneath a primary school playground last month may lead to a missing person’s investigation, an Islington policeman has revealed.

Detective Inspector Trevor Borley, one of the first on the scene when the skull was unearthed, said analysis will determine whether further inquiry into the grisly find is needed: “Dating will give us a steer on whether this is suspicious or not,” he explained. “It will take five to six weeks to have the skull dated. If it’s over 75 years old, there will be no more investigation into it. If it’s younger than this, then I’ll have to start looking into missing persons – and that’s a lot more complex.”

The skull was uncovered by builders working on Hugh Myddelton Primary School’s old playground on St John Street, on February 22. It is currently in storage at Islington’s Tolpuddle Street police station, awaiting delivery to a laboratory in Oxfordshire for analysis and dating.

Calling time on the site

“We didn’t find any other bones, and we have no other concerns at this time,” DI Borley said. “I called to the site to make sure that there were no other gruesome discoveries. Had we found a full skeleton it might have been a different type of enquiry.”

“At the moment, we are not treating the incident as suspicious,” he added. “The land in that area was originally from a landfill, so finding a human skull doesn’t necessarily mean that someone died there – it could have come from somewhere else and ended up under the playground.”
The land was sold earlier this year in order to pay for much-needed improvements to the school and is now being excavated by developers who are building a ten-storey block of 32 flats. “We were just about to start excavating the basement when we found the remains,” said Andrew Dudley, managing director of Allenbuild. “We are waiting to see whether the archaeologists want to get involved. If they do, that would definitely hold up the project.”

Image credit – Sarah Rainey