Bath Abbey Cemetery

Opened: 
1844
Status: 
Closed
Number of Burials: 
6,439
Number of Memorials: 
2,036
Maintenance: 

Maintained by B&NES Bereavement Services.

Strimmed once a year (November/December) and mowing of pathways during the growing season.

Access: 

Gate for vehicles and pedestrians at northern end.

Kissing gate from Perrymead at south-western corner.

Access to some graves from May-November may be limited by the undergrowth.

Mortuary Chapel.jpg

Mortuary Chapel

View from the Chapel towards the Abbey.jpg

View from the chapel towards the Abbey

 

The Abbey Cemetery is located in a triangle of land between Ralph Allen Drive and Perrymead.  It opened in 1844 as a private Anglican cemetery. It was financed by William John Brodrick (7th Viscount Midleton) who was rector of Bath Abbey in the period 1839-1854. He had purchased the land from the Catholic Bishop Baines – the Catholic Cemetery is adjacent. It was designed in 1843 by John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843) a Scottish landscaper who had landscaped various farms and property, set up a school for training on farming and had become a city planner, in particular concerning open spaces. He produced designs for two other cemeteries: Histon Road, Cambridge and Southampton Cemetery (in 1842–3). The cemetery’s chapel was designed by George Phillips Manners (1786-1866) of Bath who was the Bath City Architect during the period 1823-1862. When opened, further burials within Bath Abbey were stopped and some inscriptions at Bath Abbey Cemetery refer to spouses being buried in the Abbey.

The site covers 2ha (5 acres), and overlooks the town with a view of the Abbey’s tower and, beyond that, Lansdown. Over its approximately 225m length, the elevation drops by 20m going from south to north. The cemetery is laid out along a major axis from the chapel of rest at the summit to the lower end of the cemetery in an almost south to north alignment with the main path running along this. (The axis is about 20 degrees west of North.) The major axis is crossed by a wide curving path.

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Number of burials by year

 

The number of burials was about one per week in the mid-19th century but has then diminished steadily so that now it is less than three a year.

 

Price list from the time that Thomas Carr was Rector (1855 - 1859).jpg

Fees list from the time of Thomas Carr, Rector (1855 - 1859)

 

Bath Abbey Cemetery - Age Distribution.jpg

Bath Abbey Cemetery

St Marks, Lyncombe - Age Distribution.png

St Mark's Lyncombe

Age Distribution for Bath Abbey and St Mark's Cemeteries

                         

The figure above summarises the number of burials by age at death grouped into 10-year spans. For the Abbey Cemetery it is notable that over 50% died over the age of 70 and there are more females than males in every age group except 0-10 years. The age profile for the cemetery at St Mark’s, Lyncombe has a different form with about 43% of burials for children under 11 years and for other age bands a distribution that is almost flat. Those buried at St Mark’s were mainly artisans living in the parish, in Holloway, Claverton Street and Dolemeads.

 

Age Distribution of Country of Birth.png

Distribution of Country of Birth

 

The country and, for Britain and Ireland, the county of birth have been sought. This has only been successful for about 70% of those buried, rather than relatives that are mentioned. The populations of Great Britain and Ireland would suggest that the proportion from England would be about 80% and that from Scotland 10% if there was a random mixture of birthplaces. In fact, the occupants were mainly born in England. The number born in India is significant and arises from British families stationed there. Those born in Ireland include various English people who were posted there, either as clergy or in the services, and some landowners.

Individuals of Note

 

 

Grave

Reason

Colthurst Bateman (1780-1859)

1A10

Sheriff for Monmouth during the Chartist riots that occurred in 1839.

Henry Madox (1785-1865)

1E21

Participated in the Battle of Waterloo in the 66th Inniskilling Dragoons which made a famous charge.

Peter Williams (1789-1861)

1I24

A veteran of the Peninsular war who was a cutler in Westgate Street.

Stothert

1K23, 1K24, 3A3,

3A4

The founder of the local engineering firm of Stothert & Pitt was buried in the crypt of St James’s church but various descendants connected with the firm are buried here.

William Cuninghame Cuninghame (1826-1900)

1N26

One of Queen Victoria’s bodyguards.

Walter Allen Sheppard (1835-1915)

1WB7

Born at Bath, he married to Kate Malcolm, the leading suffragette in New Zealand. Kate Sheppard’s image appears on the NZ$10 note. He is buried with their son Douglas. (Kate Sheppard is buried at Christchurch.)

Sir Evelyn Mountstuart Grant Duff (1863-1926)

1WC4

Undersecretary of State for India

Anne Ellice (1759-1847)

2G1

Wife of a successful businessman in British North America. Mother and grandmother of MPs. A son was responsible for amalgamating various fur trading companies into the Hudson Bay Company.

Charles Norris Williamson (1857-1920),  Alice Muriel Williamson (1869-1933)

2SS19

Husband and wife who were both novelists with most books written jointly. Some books were made into films.

John Bythesea (1827-1906)

3K18

Admiral. He was one of the first to be awarded the Victoria Cross for a mission in Sweden during the Crimean War.

Ann Partis (1758-1846)

3M1

Wife of a London attorney who founded various charities.

Matthew William Kemble Connolly (1872-1947)

3WB12

A researcher into molluscs in Africa. His son Cyril was an eminent author and literary critic.

Hugh Herbert Edward Nelson Ward (1863-1953)

8NB5

Great-grandson of Horatio & Emma Nelson, grandson of their only child Horatia Nelson who married Rev. Philip Ward.

Benjamin Plim Bellamy (1783-1847)

4A16

Actor, manager of the Theatre Royal, Bath in the period 1827-1833 and lessee and Master of Ceremonies at The Assembly Rooms.

Henry Grattan Guinness (1835-1910)

4EE1

A member of the brewing family but his career was in preaching, writing and training missionaries.

Francis Phillips Fenner (1811-1896)

4SN22

Celebrated cricketer.1832-1855. Established Fenner's cricket ground at Cambridge.

George Moger (1806-1880)

4SS21

Member of a family which owned a bank in Bath.

Robert Pitt (1818-1886)

5C33, 5SN14

Co-founder of Stothert and Pitt and his son who was a Managing Director.

William Grattan Tyrone Power (1797-1841)

5G25

A notable actor and the great-grandfather of the American star of stage and screen Tyrone Power. A memorial exists but he was lost at sea.

 

Awards and Titles

OBE

 

Grave

John Mossom Boyd (1887-1946)

Royal Navy

1NB17

James Miles Townsend Reilly (1855-1936)

 

1WC16

George Durant Kersley (1906-1993)

Doctor

1WD11

Marie L H A de Blaquiere (1865-1942)

 

1WD15

W Arnold Ridley (1896-1984)

Actor

2NN28

Thomas Bruce Cooper (1908-1949)

RAF

2O18

George Frederick Cotton (1877-1945)

HM Admiralty

3WB21

Alice M Pursey (1879-1859)

 

3WB26

George Tanqueray Moger (1912-2000)

Royal Indian Navy

4SS21

George Stanley Murray Moger (1872-1947)

 

4SS21

Distinguished Flying Cross

 

Grave

Thomas Bruce Cooper (1908-1949)

RAF

2O18

Military Cross   Grave
Adrian Edmund Hopkins (1894-1967)   2l11
William Herbert Bateman (1892-1974)   3SN10
Thomas Henry Boss (1895-1980) Indian Army GE5
William Moxhay Sutton (1885-1949)   2SN11

 

DSO Grave
Henry Hamilton Settle (1847-1923) 1WC12
Charles Conan Newham (1871-1959) 1WD10
Ralph Duckworth (1876-1924) 3SN23
William Moxhay Sutton (1885-1949) 2SN11

 

GCMG

Grave

Harold Orme Garton Sargent (1884-1962) 1WE5

 

KCMG Grave
Evelyn Mountstuart Grant Duff (1863-1926) 1WC4
Edwyn Sandys Dawes (1838-1904) 1WC9
KCB Grave
Henry Hamilton Settle (1847-1923) 1WC12
Claude Martine Wade (1794-1861) 1WA16
Harold Orme Garton Sargent (1884-1962) 1WE5

 

MVO Grave
George Frederick Cotton (1877-1943) 3WB21

 

Knights   Grave
Gabriel Wood (1767-1845) Army 1C1
Percy Kendall Stothert (1863-1929)   1K23
Claude Martine Wade (1794-1861)   1WA16
Evelyn Mountstuart Grant Duff (1863-1926) Politician/administrator 1WC4
Edwyn Sandys Dawes (1836-1921)   1WC9
Henry Hamilton Settle (1847-1923)   1WC12
Harold Orme Garton Sargent (1884-1962)   1WE5
William Lockyer Freestun (1804-1862) Army 1NB11
Charles Granville Stuart-Menteth (1880-1880)   2SS32
George Frederick Cotton (1877-1943)   3WB21
Gerard Aubrey Goodman (1862-1921)   8EB5

 

Lords   Grave
William de Blaquiere (1856-1920) 6th Baron de Blaquiere of Ardkill 1WD15
Reginald d'Iberville Charles Grant (1856-1931) 8th Baron de Longueuil, Canada 3SS12
Charles Henry Somerset Butler (1851-1909) 6th Earl of Carrick, Ireland 3NB10
Arthur Solo Langford Rowley (1871-1953) 8th Baron Langford, Ireland 3I23

Local Officials

 

Role

Who

Grave

Mayor

George Woodiwiss (1857-1906)

3G13

 

George Durant Kersley (1906-1993)

1WD11

 

Adrian Edmund Hopkins (1894-1967)

2I10

 

Thomas Washbourne Gibbs (1817-1894)

2SS2

 

Sydney William Bush (1856-1937)

2SS12

 

James Edward Henshaw (1864-1918)

3G15

 

Preston King (1862-1943)

2SS16

 

Thomas Wilton (1819-1885)

5D44

 

William Hunt (1801-1885)

1EB3

Alderman

Francis Henry Falkner (1782-1866)

1E15

 

Thomas Gill (1802-1891)

1I1

 

James Hooper (1799-1896)

1N2

 

James Clark (1828-1907)

2NN2

 

Richard Thomas Gore (1799-1881)

5D13

 

Matthias Harris (1781-1874)

IW2

 

Beatrice Laugharne Philipps Devenish (1876-1946)

5D2

Councillor

John Palmer (1742-1818)

1WA17

 

Evan Davies Jenkins (1891-1952)

2SS15

 

Charles Gordon Mackay (1877-1942)

3I12

 

William Lewis (1831-1900)

3K27

 

Samuel Kemp (1794-1886)

4SN14

 

Thomas Wilton (1819-1885)

5D26

 

Volume 3 of the Burial Register has a record of the re-burial of remains from St James’s church on 11-Feb-1960: “A number of bodies in lead coffins and many human bones, buried under the church of St James Bath were removed prior to the sale of the site of the ruined church and re-intered (sic) by the Archdeacon of Bath, the Venerable Arthur Cook, in a plot of the ground at the lower (or extreme north) corner of the Abbey Cemetery, in the presence of the former Churchwardens of the parish of St James. G. H. Deacon and L. F. Hooper on the 11th February 1960.”

As a closed cemetery, maintenance is now carried out by the Council. During the summer the paths are mown every few weeks. There is an annual strimming which takes place in either November or December. During the summer the plants growing on and around the graves can become quite high and the best time to find a grave is in the period after the strimming until May.Crimean War Memorial.jpg

The cemetery is also the location of the city’s Crimean War Memorial. The obelisk has the names of key battles and a general. On the plinths are the names of those with connections with Bath who died in that war.

Parking is available in nearby Perrymead and it is also possible to drive into the cemetery up to the chapel. The main gate can be opened by going in via the pedestrian gate and turning the metal bar that keeps the gate closed. Care must be taken driving through the gateway due to the change in incline. Parts of the upper driveways can prove difficult when the ground is wet. The buses between town and Combe Down have stops just outside the gate. 

 Overall Layout of the cemetery.jpg

    

Section 4 Looking towards Crowe Hall.jpg

Section 4 Looking towards Crowe Hall   

Section 2.jpg

Section 2

 

The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, with support from the Council and the diocese, have cleared the overgrown, wooded area in the southwest corner of the ground which was never used for burials. They reinstated the path from the chapel to the southwest corner and installed a kissing gate, allowing those visiting to the cemetery to walk into Perrymead. This was opened by the then Mayor of Bath, Bryan Chalker, in June 2011.

The new gate 1.jpgThe New Gate

The New gate 2.jpg

The new gate 3.jpg

The Burial Order Books which list the burials and where they took place are in the possession of Bath Abbey. The burials and memorials in the cemetery have been documented by the Widcombe Association by surveying and mapping the surviving memorials and using the burial order books and burial registers. This includes a history of the cemetery, maps of the sections and rows, the inscriptions and photographs of the memorials along with supporting information on the individuals.

Sample pages from the documentation.png

Documentation: 

A copy of the volume documenting the cemetery produced by Widcombe Association is available on a CD at Bath Record Office. The index (but not the CD) is available as a bound volume in the Local Studies section of Bath Central Library. Both locations have maps of the cemetery. Widcombe Association sells copies of the CD; see its website www.widcombeasociation.org.uk .

The cemetery is covered by The National Burial Index version 3 based on information in registers provided by the Somerset & Dorset FHS but does this not give the locations of graves. In addition, as noted above, the number of records does not accord with the number of burials.