|Introduction by Janet Meads, 2007|
Burton Latimer’s Burial Grounds and Cemeteries
The first graves in the churchyard would not have been marked but relatives would have known under which mound their loved ones would have lain. Then wooden crosses were placed to mark the graves but these rotted and later, stones with inscriptions began to be used instead. These monumental inscriptions are often the only record of the past inhabitants of Burton Latimer and sadly, many of these are becoming increasingly illegible.
Pauline Swailes spent 2006 and part of 2007 recording the inscriptions for the Society. This was not an easy task: some of the graves have been vandalised and others worn and broken. Pauline's notes were transcribed by Sarah Gilbert and then checked by Janet and John Meads on site and also using church burial registers, censuses, the Internet, and other sources, including an earlier survey by Trevor Cooper twenty years ago.
The Society is very grateful for the time and effort of our volunteers and we hope that the following records will be of help to family historians and a permanent record, in years to come, when the stones are no longer readable.
Nonetheless, the transcriptions and listings given here are the most comprehensive which have yet appeared in printed form
The Churchyard (CHY)
The earliest burials in Burton Latimer are in unmarked graves with no memorials. Even those recorded in the Parish Burial Registers from 1538 cannot be identified in any particular part of the churchyard. There are a few memorials surviving in the church, the earliest being that of Margaret, the wife of Thomas Bacon who died in 1626 but the earliest legible gravestone in the churchyard is that of James Blofield 1717, which has Grade II Listed status.
Early burials would have been close to the Church, the corpse would have been laid to rest in a white shroud but not in a coffin. As time passed and space became a premium, it was necessary to place other burials on top of the ones already there. This probably accounts for the embankments on the north and west of the paths leading to the Church door.
The Lower Churchyard (LCY)
In 1880 a piece of land owned by the Rev. F.B. Newman to the south and adjacent to the original churchyard was laid out as an extension and became known as the lower churchyard. It was consecrated by Bishop Magee and vested in trustees for the use of church people. This is now closed.
By the 1880s the Baptist graveyard in
So, in about 1886, it was decided that ground on the left of
With the growth of the town in the early 1900s, it became necessary for the Parish Council to purchase another piece of land for burials. This was done in about 1913 and a new cemetery provided at the far end of
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