Locksbrook - St Swithin's, Walcot

Opened: 
1864
Status: 
Closed
Number of Burials: 
29,500
Maintenance: 

Within recent years the Council has used offenders under a ‘community payback’ scheme to tidy up the cemetery. The Council’s maintenance regime has the whole cemetery strimmed every month during the growing season.

The chapels.jpg

The Chapels

The war memorials and military graves.jpg

The War memorial and military graves

The cemetery was opened in 1864 with separate areas for Walcot and St Saviour’s wards. A further section for Weston opened in 1877. It has Anglican and nonconformist chapels with a cloister and a tower between them. There were 29,591 burials for Walcot ward with the first burial occurring on 17 Jan 1864. Bath & NE Somerset Council has a chargeable service for finding a grave in this cemetery. Its records would seem to be un-indexed as it states that, having found a grave, it is unable to provide information on who else might be buried in that plot. (See website)

From The Historic Guide to Bath by Rev. G. N. Wright (1864):

WALCOT CEMETERY, at Locksbrook, covers twelve acres; it was laid out by Mr. Milner, the landscape gardener to the Crystal Palace Company. The chapels, lodges, entrances, and other buildings, are from the designs of Messrs. Hickes and Isaac, of Bath, and are in the early decorated manner. The chapels are united by cloisters, from the centre of which rises a tower one hundred feet in height.

The Mr Milner referred to is Edward Milner (1819-1884) who was an English landscape architect who worked at Chatsworth for its head gardener, Joseph Paxton. He implemented Paxton’s designs and was superintendent of works for the re-erection of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham in 1852. He also worked as an independent designer and a son wrote The Art and Practice of Landscape Gardening published in 1890.

Number of burials per year - Walcot and St Saviour's sections.png

Number of burials per year – Walcot and St Saviour’s sections

The numbering scheme of the graves is reported to be complex and not wholly consistent. The inconsistency arises because various paths were also used for graves and arbitrary numbers allocated, these being out of sequence with adjacent graves.

The number of burials in this cemetery did not drop sharply when Haycombe became the only ‘open’ municipal cemetery in Bath in 1937 and the rate only dropped significantly from the early 1960s.

Overall Layout Locksbrook.jpg

Overall Layout

 

Documentation: 

The burial registers for the Walcot section of Locksbrook Cemetery are held by Bath & NE Somerset’s Bereavement Services. The Council offers a service to locate a grave.

Locksbrook Cemetery - Walcot Section – Name index, P J Bendall [Bath Record Office]

Limitations

Only indexes to the burial registers, not the registers themselves, are available to volunteers to transcribe; the two volumes of the index 1865-1916 and 1917-1980 have year and name only while a separate index 1960-1998 also includes the letters and number which identify the location of the grave.

A survey is being undertaken to identify the general layout of surviving memorials. This, in combination with a map held by Bath Record Offfice which gives the numbering scheme, is allowing maps of some areas to be produced. However, the (section, block, number) scheme for identifying a grave has a series of anomalies. The maps given here are drafts based on preliminary surveys.