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Below Ground Crypts

with Tops at Ground Level

Diagram showing possible consruction of vault interiors

One of the in ground crypts in Maple Leaf

An in ground crypt being repaired

Many people have asked us what the interior of these burial monuments would look like. Were the remains of two or three people there? And if so how was that done? Are those in the King Monuments above or below ground?

First off, we do NOT know the answer regarding the historic King Monuments. And of course we never will. There are many stories and theories but they are just that! Nothing more.

But we can tell you some information on other in ground crypt burials in the cemetery. Of course again, This has been told to us by experienced people. These are tombs that will never be opened.

We do know that under the huge tops of some of these is a large and quite deep brick vault. The top of that vault is a brick arch. The arch of course is what really ties the bricks together to give the whole thing it's strength. The vaults were probably built before any deaths. Then, each time someone died, that brick arch was removed and the deceased was placed in the bottom of the crypt. The first was right at the bottom. The monument was sealed by installing the brick arch and the top placed on it. When another person died, the tomb would once again be opened and the casket would be placed sitting on the two bars just above the first. Tomb arch sealed and top put on. When next person needed it the process was once again repeated.

Please realize though that there are not always two or more people in a crypt.

Notice the diagram above. The brown area represents the top of the crypt. The other shaded areas represent two caskets. There might be three or more in a crypt depending on it's design.

The "Box walls" of the crypt are probably made of brick and go very deep into the ground. They are likely covered on one side to make them look like cement, and this will keep much of the water out. Notice the thick black bars. There was one casket placed at the bottom level. Two bars were placed over it and the next casket was placed on those at time of burial. A second set of bars could be used for a third burial, etc. It is likely that these bars provided strength to the vault as well keeping sides from caving in. We do not know if these bars wee inserted when the tomb was built, or were added when needed. But, everything points to them being there from the start. And the caskets would be lowered onto them, weaving back and forth to get to the proper levels.

We have been told that each time a death occurred the crypt is reopened on top, and the new casket was set in. Probably a very unpleasant experience to say the least under some circumstances due to odors, etc. The top was rebuilt, only to be removed again later for the next internment.

Natural processes of course take over and all of the crypt contents will rest on the floor (bottom) of the unit in time.

A small in ground crypt.

Remember though that generally, when you see what looks like a "top" of a crypt sitting on the ground, it is simply a fancy monument. Generally there is no fancy crypt under neath. In most cases, they are simply a fancy tomb stone. However, there are exceptions. And there are indeed some of these in Maple Leaf Cemetery as you can see.

Hopefully this will give you some information on how these tombs were used, and their design, etc.