St Michael's

Opened: 
1805
Status: 
Closed
Number of Burials: 
6,672 (from 1750)

St Michael’s extra muros or St Michael’s Without [the wall] church existed from Saxon times, but a new church was built on the site between 1370 and 1400. Having become dilapidated, a new church was opened in 1743. Insufficient in size, it was rebuilt in its current form from 1835 and opened in 1837. St Michael’s had three cemeteries: the original one next to the church (before the building was enlarged), one nearby in Walcot Street and a mid-19th century one in Lower Weston (see separate description). Joseph Gilmore’s map of 1694 shows an area north of the church was the churchyard and this unbuilt-up area appears in Wood’s map of 1735 and Barrett’s map of 1818.

The location of the first St Michael's Burial Ground from Barrett's Map of 1818.png

The location of the first St Michael’s Burial Ground from Barrett’s map of 1818.

The location of the second St Micael's Buriel Ground after the 1837 rebuilding od the chruch.png

The location of the second St Michael’s Burial Ground after the 1837 rebuilding of the church.

From Mainwaring’s Annals of Bath, from the year 1800 ... p44  in a section on the year 1805 “A new burial ground for the parish of St. Michael, situate in Walcot-street, opposite the present, was consecrated this year by the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells with the usual solemnities.” This graveyard for the parish was located on the land sloping down from Walcot Street to the river east of the church. The area was cleared in 1970 for the building of the Beaufort (now Hilton) Hotel, material from the graveyard being re-buried at Haycombe Cemetery.

Burials also took place in the crypt. An internal monument has for Catherine Bird (-1861) has “She rests in the family vault beneath this tablet” and for Mary Charlesworth (-1821) “whose Remains are deposited in a walled Grave under this Church.”. Microfiches of the parish’s burial registers are at Bath Record Office but it is not known whether there is information on the burial ground and its memorials. Burials ceased in 1859. The Bath Chronicle of Mon 23 Jan 1882 p7 reported that St Michael’s Burial Board had renovated the disused burial ground. Along with Walcot cemetery this was handed over to the Corporation in 1924 and it was converted into a rest area for old people, this opening on Fri 9 Jun 1925.

Number of burials per year St Michaels.png

Number of burials per year

An area within a hedge in Haycombe cemetery (section 50) has an inscribed headstone which states “This communal grave contains the remains from St Michael’s closed burial ground which were removed during the redevelopment of Walcot Street 1970. The grave stones are also from the burial ground.”

 

 

Documentation: 

Transcript of Registers of St Michael, Bath 1659-1760. E S Jenkins (1988). Typed with surname index. [Bath Central Library]

Transcript of Registers of St Michael, Bath 1761-1812. E S Jenkins (1987). Typed with surname index. [Bath Central Library]

Transcript of Registers of St Michael, Bath 1813-1840. E S Jenkins (1984). Typed with surname index. [Bath Central Library]

For the internal memorials see St Michael with St Paul - Memorial Tablets inside the Church by David L Houldridge, 1980 (116 records). [Bath Record Office]

St Michael – List of Inscriptions on Headstones, 1975 (names, date died and age only). [Bath Record Office]

Burial Register Microfiches:  1569-1859 [Bath Record Office]

A name index for the period 1750-1851 produced in 2013 is available at the Bath Record Office.

National Burial Index:           3,248 entries (1587-1851)