Are there really any actual ashes left in the Ashes urn?
Just been answering a question about the Ashes and where they should reside which got me thinking... are there really any ashes in that little wooden urn? I know there was originally the ashes of a burnt bail in there, but has the urn been opened up in recent times to see what is really in there? Are there any photos around of the inside of the urn? Has any scientific analysis been done on the contents of the urn?
As for opening and doing scientific tests, the urn is rather fragile now - after all it is a 125 year old terracotta urn!! There is no chance they would risk opeining it to find out as this would most likely cause damage beyond repair. The fact it is the property of the MCC who are a bunch of dinosaurs who think they know more about cricket than they really do doesnt help!!
The contents of the Darnley urn are also problematic; they were variously reported to be the remains of a stump, bail or the outer casing of a ball, but in 1998, Lord Darnley’s 82-year-old daughter-in-law said they were the remains of her mother-in-law’s veil, casting a further layer of doubt on the matter. However during the tour of Australia in 2006/7, the MCC official accompanying the urn said the veil legend had been discounted, and it was now "95% certain" that the urn contains the ashes of a cricket bail. Speaking on Channel Nine TV on 25 November 2006, he also said x-rays of the urn had shown the pedestal and handles were cracked, and repair work had to be carried out. The urn itself is made of terracotta and is about six inches (15 cm) tall and may originally have been a perfume jar.
we should ask the English MCC (where it resides)
to let some a qualified person investigate.
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