How many burials are there in the Churchyard ?
There ARE some “anomalies”, however.
In the old days, “the poor” – most of the burials – had no gravestones, so are unmarked.
So that headline SHOULD read “Every HEADSTONE . . .” rather than “Every grave”
Our burial records for the “New Churchyard”, North of the tarmac path are here.
That Burial Register records 394 names / burials.
But not every grave is marked. One might suspect that people were buried in “random” places, with open spaces between – but Acksherley – those “open spaces” do contain burials.
The gravestones were photographed, many several times; there are 264 pix, of only 123 different gravestones.
i.e. only 31% - less than a third - of graves have a gravestone.
If you look at the New Churchyard, you will see that the population has been getting richer, for at the West end – recent burials - there are more gravestones that at the East end – early burials.
Go back a few years . . .
From the records here, since 1700, there have been an average of about 8.5 burials a year.
8.5 x 321 = 2707 i.e. nearly THREE THOUSAND burials in our Churchyard since 1700 !
And a Church has stood on this site since the village was owned by Glastenbury Abbey in the 900s, i.e. some 1200 years. At say 8 a year, that’s around ten thousand burials in our little Churchyard – which used to be MUCH smaller – Myrtle Cottage was originally the end one of a row of cottages that extended right across to the gravel path from the lychgate.
The cottages were demolished and the Churchyard extended about the time the Church was re-built in the 1860s.
The “New” Churchyard dates from about 1900.
Compared with that figure of around 10,000 burials, we have very few gravestones 😉.
And somehow I doubt that “they” will be investigating ANYTHING below the surface !
Further – although we can SEE the gravestones, the older ones are mostly un-readable.
Yeah, yeah, yeah – all common sense, reelly 😉