St Swithin's

Status: 
Closed
Number of Burials: 
33,168 (from 1711)
Number of Memorials: 
323 in lower graveyard

The parish of Walcot has a number of graveyards:

  • in the church’s crypt
  • the area around St Swithin’s church
  • a graveyard, with a mortuary chapel, at Walcot Gate
  • Lansdown Cemetery, from 1848 - about 6,000 burials
  • the major part of Locksbrook cemetery from 1864 - about 29,000 burials
The burial grounds near St Swithin's.jpg

The burial grounds near St Swithin's

St Swithin's church.jpg St Swithin's church 2.jpg

St Swithin's church

Burials per year 

Number of burials per year in the 19th Century.png

Number of burials per year in the 19th Century

Crypt and Graveyard

St Swithin’s crypt and the areas to the north and south of the church were the principal places of burial. A mural plaque in the crypt has a date in 1683. The original church was pulled down in 1777 and the current, larger church built. The 1885 Ordnance Survey map shows that the area southwest of the church which has a wall that separates it from Walcot Street had catacombs.

Bath Record Office has a copy of a map of the burials in the crypt.

The southern garden has been almost completely cleared of memorials with many now leaning against a boundary wall. The northern garden has a few memorials in situ.

Walcot Cemetery Mortuary Chapel.jpg Walcot cemetery Mortuary Chapel 2.jpg Extent in 1810.jpg

Walcot Cemetery Mortuary Chapel

Extent in 1810

The graveyard in Walcot Street at Walcot Gate, also known as ‘the Lower Burial Ground’, dates from 1780. From the Donne map of 1810, at that time the burial ground was a narrow strip of land. At some point it was enlarged to the south and a new mortuary chapel was added in 1841. In 1826 a man named Clark alias Taylor was convicted of removing at least 45 bodies from Walcot burial ground over a period of 5 months, these being packed into hampers and forwarded to London by coach. He was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment and fined £100. He had been paid up to 10 guineas per body. In 1924 a large part of the burial ground was cleared in order to make a public open space and this was opened as a children’s play area on Fri 9 Jun 1925. The remaining memorials were moved to an area around the mortuary chapel.

An area in ‘the Rockery’ of section 38 of Haycombe Cemetery is stated as holding remains from Walcot cemetery including that of Fanny Burney. It is unclear when these were deposited given that main clearance of the cemetery occurred in 1924/5 but Haycombe didn’t open until 1937.

Documentation: 

Walcot Cemetery - Inscriptions on Tombstones by David L Houldridge, 1981. [Bath Record Office]

St Swithin’s, Walcot – Burial Register Name Index 1801-1864 [Bath Record Office]

St Swithin’s Church, Walcot, Bath - Internal Memorials, P J Bendall, 2014 [Bath Record Office]

Burial Register Microfiches: 1711-1955 [Bath Record Office]

Original Registers: Burials 1711-1948 [Somerset Heritage Centre: D\P\wal.sw/2/1/]

National Burial Index 3: 22,293 entries (1699-1864)

Plans: Plans of burial grounds. Showing numbered plots, with register numbers or occupants. Includes plan of burials in the crypt of St Swithin's Church [Somerset Heritage Centre: D\P\wal.se/3/5/7]

Coverage in Index: 
1711-1864