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How many burials are there in the Churchyard ?

Sky News: Every grave in the Church of England's 19,000 graveyards is being digitally mapped

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  😉


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