The deed for the grave site of Eleanor Rigby, the Liverpool woman who (probably) inspired the Beatles’ song of the same name, will be auctioned off along with a copy of the score of the song, the Guardian reported on Monday.
According to the British paper, “a certificate of purchase and a receipt for the grave space will be sold in a lot with a miniature bible, dated 1899 and with the name Eleanor Rigby written inside.”
Also on the block in the September auction will be the original handwritten score for the song, which was released as the B-side to the “Yellow Submarine” single in 1966 and appeared on the Beatles’ album Revolver the same year.
Eleanor Rigby is buried at St. Peter’s in Woolton, Liverpool, where a young Paul McCartney met John Lennon when Lennon’s skiffle group, The Quarrymen, was performing in the church yard in 1957. (The photo above is the statue in her honor in Liverpool.) Rigby, who died on Oct. 10, 1939, at age 44, is buried there along with several relatives. The headstone describes her as “the beloved wife of Thomas Woods.”
According to British law, the disturbance of human remains is forbidden for 75 years from the date of the last full burial in a family plot. The Guardian reports that “the last person to be buried in Eleanor Rigby’s family grave was laid to rest in 1949, 68 years ago,” meaning the new buyer could bury someone in there in seven years.
Here’s an exclusive clip of McCartney performing “Eleanor Rigby” in 1990.