A MEMORIAL service and re-interment of human remains discovered during the building of a school in Darwen will take place later this month.

Fifty corpses were exhumed while building work was ongoing at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy in 2008.

The remains came from a burial site once belonging to Redearth Road Primitive Methodist Church, which was demolished in the 1960s.

As part of the national procedures, the remains were removed and held by scientists who have tested the remains to establish their historical and cultural backgrounds.

The procedures have now finished so the remains, which date between 1832 and 1861, can be reburied.

A memorial service will be held at Spring Vale Methodist Church in Watery Lane, Darwen, where people can pay their respects. A wreath-laying ceremony will take place after the memorial service.

The remains will then be interred at Darwen Eastern Cemetery at a later date.

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Kate Hollern said: “Our aim at all times has been to respect the dignity of the dead while following the correct legal procedures.

“We are now able to rebury the bodies in a respectful manner in the non-conformist section in Darwen Eastern Cemetery.

“We plan to hold a memorial service to mark the reburial and allow people to pay their respects.”

Whitehall councillor David Foster, who is also leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “It is good that we are treating the remains with respect and honouring the people who were buried there.

“It is appropriate the service will be held at Spring Vale as the church was actually set up by people from the church in Roman Road.”

n Last summer, it was revealed there were ‘interesting anomalies’ on some of the remains, which were examined by archaeologists at Oxford University.

Thirteen of the corpses had large glass beads around their necks, and another two men have been identified as possibly being African or American Indian, because of bone features.

Although testing has now been completed on the remains, a report is not expected to be published for some time.