A 130-year-old murder mystery has been solved after a skull was discovered in David Attenborough's back garden.

Forensic investigators have confirmed that the skulll was that of Julia Martha Thomas who was murdered by her maid Kate Webster in 1879.

The murder was referred to at the time as The Barnes Mystery.

The 55-year-old widow Thomas had employed 29-year-old Webster, a convicted thief and fraudster as a servant in January 1879, but church-going Mrs Webster soon grew fed-up of the maid's heavy drinking.

On March 2, the pair rowed and Webster pushed Thomas down the stairs before strangling her.

She then used a meat saw, razor and kitchen knife to dismember her body. She boiled the corpse and fed the dripping to the children, saying it was pig's lard.

Webster stuffed the limbs into a box which she chucked into the Thames. She couldn't fit the head and foot into the box, so she buried the head in the garden and threw the foot in an allotment.

Police never found the head, so the body could never be formally identified.

Webster was convicted of the murder and was hanged on July 29 1879.

It wasn't until October last year that the skull was discovered by workmen building an extension on TV naturalist's Attenborough's house.

An inquest concluded that Webster had died from asphyxiation and blows to the head.