Independant Burial Ground (Argyle Chapel), Snow Hill

Opened: 
1790
Status: 
Closed
Number of Burials: 
>1,100
Location Argyle Chapel_0.jpg

The Congregational Church, Argyle Chapel in Argyle Street is designated as ‘independent’ in the directories and the Independent burial ground, which opened in 1790, was located on Snow Hill above the first Baptist burial ground.

An article in the Bath & Wilts Chronicle & Herald of Mon 18 Apr 1953 relates how the burial ground had fallen into disuse, had been used as a playground by children, had been offered to the Council by the Argyle Church authorities but the Council had been unable to accept it. Three ward councillors with volunteers had then tidied the place over a period of four months. “For nearly 120 years it was a burial ground of the church, 1,000 bodies had been buried there, 66 vaults contained the remains of well-know citizens.” Once tidied, the Council accepted the ground which was made into a recreation area. As with the nearby first Baptist Burial Ground, it no longer exists as the whole area was redeveloped.

The documentation of the burials is based on account books, names from memorial inscriptions and burial registers. For the period 1790-1817 it is the account books which have been used and there are no ages or abodes. The burial register from April 1838 to the end of 1854 is missing and reliance is made on other sources for a partial reconstruction. From 1855 onwards a burial register survives. From an average of 20 burials per year in the early 1800s the number diminished rapidly after about 1857 as the municipal burial boards catered for nonconformists. There were over 1,100 burials.

Documentation: 

Argyle Independent Chapel, Bath - baptismal registers 1783-1854; burial registers 1790-1890; monumental inscriptions. Transcribed by Sheena M Carter (2003).  [Bath Record Office, Bath Central Library]