Lansdown Cemetery

Opened: 
1848
Status: 
Closed
Number of Burials: 
5,785
Maintenance: 

The local council, on its notice board by the entrance, declares its policy on the maintenance of the cemetery “the area which is no longer used for burials will be spared from mowing until the end of summer, and you will see areas of long grass”.  Also, at its website “a management plan was agreed which allows the grassland to grow uninhibited over the graves whilst keeping grass pathways for ease of access”.

The council undertakes an annual strimming in November and mows the paths in summer every three or four weeks. Many graves in the sections 1-7 have become overgrown with vegetation with slabs covered by a layer of earth that has built up over years.

During the period from May until the annual strimming, locating a grave may be hampered by plants, particularly in the central area of the cemetery (Section 4).

Access: 

It is possible to park in the parking area by the tower, a gate leads into the cemetery. There is also a lay-by on Lansdown Road next to a gate which leads into the modern section of the cemetery.

Lansdown Cemetery is located by Beckford Tower on Lansdown. It opened in 1848, its first occupant was William Beckford who had been buried in Bath Abbey Cemetery in 1844 but, at the instigation of one of his daughters, Lady Hamilton, the tomb was transported to the newly-created Lansdown Cemetery. She had bought back the land after it had been proposed to develop it into pleasure gardens.

The cemetery has over 5,000 burials. The oldest section (1) is south of the tower and the most recent ones (8 and 9) at the eastern end. A roughly semicircular area northwest of the tower has relatively few memorials, is mostly shaded by large tress and, in spring, is covered by wild garlic.

Cemetery and Beckford Tower.jpg

Cemetery and Beckford Tower

The gate from inside the grounds.jpg

The gate from inside the grounds

Layout of Lansdown Cemetery.jpg

Layout of Lansdown Cemetery

Number of Burials per year Lansdown.png

Number of Burials per year

Occupations have been determined for about 40% of males and these given broad classifications. Just over 50% are one of: professional, armed services, clergy or fundholder.

Occupations for the whole cemetery.png

Occupations for the whole cemetery

The following table gives a selection of the numbers:

Army

Field Marshal

1

Craftsmen

Bootmaker

10

 

General

9

 

Cabinet maker

10

 

Lieutenant General

5

 

Carver & gilder

6

 

Major General

14

 

Confectioner

2

 

Brigadier

2

 

Mason

11

 

Colonel

16

 

Tailor(ess)

24

 

Lieutenant Colonel

31

 

Upholsterer

6

 

Major

15

 

Watchmaker

2

 

Captain

14

Labourer

Carpenter

12

 

Surgeon General

1

 

Coachman

12

 

Surgeon

7

 

Gardener

32

Navy

Admiral

10

 

Livery stable keeper

4

 

Commander

3

 

Wheelchairman

3

 

Captain

5

Servants

 

40

 

Engineer Captain

2

Trade

Auctioneer

4

Professional

Architect

8

 

Baker

6

 

Attorney, Solicitor, Barrister

49

 

Bookseller

5

 

Civil Engineer

7

 

Brewer, Publican etc

31

 

Dentist

3

 

Butcher

6

 

Doctor

20

 

Chemist, druggist

6

 

Teacher

38

 

Dairyman

3

Clergy

Anglican

81

 

Draper

12

 

Catholic Apostolic

5

 

Grocer

19

 

Nonconformist

3

 

Ironmonger

7

Fundholders

 

222

 

Linen draper

4

Police

 

7

 

Lodging house keeper

33

 

Some Notable Graves

 

Grave

Reason

David Harrel (1841-1939)

1.A2.9

While assistant chief commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police (he was commissioner 1883-1893), he was one of three people tasked with investigating the Phoenix Park murders in 1882. He was Under-Secretary for Ireland from 1893 to 1902

Edward Lechmere Russell (1818-1904)

1.A2.15

General in the Indian Army (Bombay Establishment). Resident and Commandant at Aden. Received the thanks of both houses of Parliament for his services in the Abyssinian war (1867-8) and was knighted in 1868.

George Thomas Palmer (1784-1854)

1.A/7/7A

Founder of a settlement in Australia named after him as Palmerstown (later renamed to Ginniderra).

Thomas Garrard (1787-1859)

1.A.9A

City Treasurer for Bristol and biographer of Edward Colston.

William Rowan (1789-1879)

1.A.12A

Field Marshal. Fought in the Peninsular War, at Waterloo and after the defeat of Napoleon, was put in charge of the 1st arrondissement of Paris. In 1823 he was posted to Canada and in 1849 was made Commander-in-Chief, North America.

Joseph Bouch (1801-1859)

1.A.19A

Caused a scandal pursuing his wife from Australia to New Zealand after she had run off with someone else.

Percy Ralph Ricardo (1855-1907)

1.A.23

A son of Harry Ralph Ricardo (1822-1860). Buried at Melbourne but commemorated here. Controversial involvement in the suppression of the shearer’s strike of 1891. A grandson of Harry Ralph Ricardo was a pioneer of internal combustion engine design.

Robert MacLimont (1822-1865)

1.B.12A

American orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy, practiced in Guernsey and, after several years travelling abroad, settled in Bath where he was appointed as a Physician at the Bath Homeopathic Hospital. There were several controversies.

Forbes Fraser (1870-1924)

1.K.18A

Surgeon who was instrumental in setting up the Royal United Private Hospital in Bath which, shortly after his death, was renamed the Forbes Fraser Hospital.

William Jervois (1783-1862)

1.L.16/16A

General. Served in the Peninsular War. Promoted to General in 1846 he was Commander and Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong in 1851. In retirement he was Master of Ceremonies at Bath’s Assembly Rooms.

The obituary in the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette of Thu 6 Nov 1862 referred to him as ”a gentleman who for many years has been one of the chief ornaments of [Bath’s] society”.

Martin Claris Colbourn (1901-

1989)

2.A1.3A

Last vicar of St James, Bath (it was bombed and later demolished) and then rector of Walcot 1942-1951 succeeding Geoffrey Erskine Woodmansey who had been killed in the blitz (see grave 2.A1.2).

William Augustus Fry (1835-1860)

3.N.8A

A survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade. The inscription states that “he was one of the gallant six hundred in the charge of Balaclava”.

Elizabeth Pigot (1791-1860)

4.A1.4

Married Major George Pigot (the acknowledged natural son of Lord Pigot of Patshull) 10 days before setting off for Algoa Bay, South Africa in 1820 with 20 indentured servants where they set up an estate.

Hester McCormick (1782-1857)

4.B.16A

A servant. The inscription has an enigmatic inscription which states that “by prudence and industry” she amassed “a considerable sum of money” which she used for charitable purposes.

Marie Carandini (1826-1894)

4.B.23

Noted prima donna in Australia. Born in England, she emigrated with her family to Tasmania where she married an Italian marquis.

Edward Pelham Brenton Von Donop (1811-1890)

4.D.7A-8

Vice-Admiral. A history of the Royal Navy, in reference to a battle in the (so-called) Friendly Islands has “At a later date his gallantry would have won him the Victoria Cross”

Henry Edward Goodridge (1797-1864)

4.D.14/15A

Noted architect. When aged 24 William Beckford commissioned him to design the tower now known as Beckford Tower. He also designed the neo-classical façade to Argyle Chapel (1823) Cleveland Bridge (1827) and The Corridor shopping arcade (1825). His designs outside Bath include the chapel of Downside Abbey (1828), the Catholic Clifton pro-cathedral (1834) which was never completed, Devizes Castle (1840) and the library of Hamilton Palace (1845).

Mary Pitman (1793-1857)

4.I.1A

Wife of Sir Isaac Pitman (1813-1897) The inscription uses phonetic letters and starts “MεRI PITMAN/WEIF OV MR EIZAK PITMAN”

George Frederick Rosenberg (1825- 1869)

4.I.16

Watercolour artist and author of a guide on flower-painting in water colours.

William Hinde (1817-1878)

4.I.31

Master of the Supreme Court at Adelaide, South Australia.

Thomas Simson Pratt (1796-1879)

4.K/23-23A

Served in the war in China in 1840-1. Commander of forces in Australia 1856-1861 and served in the Maori war of 1860-1.

Leonard Blomefield (1800-1893)

4.M.23A

Naturalist. Clergyman. Offered the position of botanist on HMS Beagle, which he declined. His specimen collections were donated to the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institute.

James Scarth Gale (1863-1937)

4.S.14A

Born in Canada, a missionary for 40 years in Korea, translator of the Bible into Korean and author of books on the Korean language and folk tales.

Benjamin James Maslen (1900-1982)

4.S2.4

Organist and composer.

Adolph B Brewster (1854-1937)

4.T.14

Born in Australia. Went to Fiji in 1870. Entered the colonial service and wrote books on Fiji before retiring to England in 1910.

Julia Georgina Affleck (1863-1944)

4.U.12

The monument has “widow of Sir Robert Affleck 7th Baronet” but in 1914 she obtained a divorce on the grounds of cruelty and desertion. She then worked as a shop assistant and under the name of "Madame Julie” gained a reputation as a business woman.

George Uvedale Price (1853-1929)

4.V.5A

Author of books on China in the 1890s.

Alexander Kennedy Cuninghame (1858-1935)

4.V.6

Member of Her Majesty's Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, the monarch’s bodyguard instituted by Henry VIII.

Harry Strickland McGill (1861-1914)

4.W.5

Army medical surgeon, accompanying the army in Burma, India and China, being in charge in turn of two hospitals in India 1960-1911.

Percival Huth (1851-1913)

4.W.28

Member of a banking family, originally from Germany, who rose to prominence after helping the Spanish royal family save the jewels during the Napoleonic invasion.

Sophia MacLean Wood Law (1834-1914)

4.X.4-4A

Born in Canada. Stepmother of Andrew Bonar Law, British Prime Minister (1858-1923)

Emma Sophia Georgina Goldie (1854-1923)

4.X.6A

For 32 years a missionary in China. Her sister had married a missionary and when this sister died in China Emma Goldie brought her nephews and nieces back to Bath.

     

Henry Edward Jerome (1830-1901)

5.A.19

Awarded a Victoria Cross for action during the Indian Mutiny.

Wilfred Vincent Miller Koch (1863-1939)

5.A.23

Born in Ceylon, son of a noted doctor, awarded a gold medal at Edinburgh University for medical studies. Subsequently medical officer in the West Indies and hospital superintendant in Hong Kong.

William Frederic Carl Schottler (1863-1912)

6.B.4A

Born at Göttingen, Germany. Conductor of The Bath Theatre Royal Orchestra, The Bath Military Band, The Bath Operatic Society and Bandmaster of the 4th Btn. Somerset L. I. Memorial erected “in public recognition of his great services to the musical life of the city of Bath”

Henry James Griffen (1855-1931)

7.B.6

Organ builder at Hedgemead Park.

George Reynolds Scott Burrows (1827-1917)

7.C.11

General with a distinguished career in India. He was in charge of a British brigade which suffered a disaster in Afghanistan in 1880 when the force was severely outnumbered.

Documentation: 

Lansdown Cemetery – Memorial Inscriptions. Bath Preservation Trust. A 2011 draft of the document is available at Bath Record Office. This includes name and location indexes for all those buried as well as pictures of each memorial.

National Burial Index 3:  5,785 entries (1848-1993)