MYSTERY surrounds the identity of a human skull found in woodland near a historic building.
The grim discovery was made last March and today an inquest took place into the find in a bid to discover more about how and why the skull happened to be there.
The court heard ghost hunters Felicity Reid and Daniel Duffy discovered the skull near the former Egerton House Hotel, in the early hours of Monday March 1 2021, with police immediately called to the scene.
A camouflage jacket was found next to the skull, belonging to a man, who could have been from the 1800s.
Area coroner Prof Alan Walsh told the court that Detective Inspector Deborah Hurst had attempted to identify the skull, but the identity and last known address could not be traced.
Forensic scientist, Dominic Monaghan, said that the skull "appeared to be of an age between 32 to 58" most likely during the time period of 1801-1953, and had no traumatic injuries.
In a statement from Mr Monaghan, he said: "I can't time it any closer to a particular date
"I later confirmed it was a male cheek bone, and no further human bones were found at the scene.
"It is likely that the post mortem damage and loss of skull occurred at another location."
Attending officer at the scene, DI Hurst, was notified that a human skull, with possible other remains, had been found at the rear of the hotel, by the explorers.
She said the explorers weren't regular visitors to the site, and that they came across the skull "by chance".
In a statement DI Hurst, said: "Mrs Spencer who lived over the road said there was a group of people who had been filming a music video in 2018/19.
"And she walked in the area daily and never noticed a skull."
Mr Walsh said that both were questioned under caution and there was no information that would "link them" to where the skull was found.
DI Hurst said that the she has been in touch with the local authorities to arrange a burial for the skull.
Mr Walsh concluded an open conclusion.
He said: "I am satisfied that a full investigation was carried out by GMP officers as to what happened to the deceased.
"It is not possible to establish the cause of death and place because the only part of the deceased body is a skull, and it is not possible for a soil post mortem investigation."