WINDHILL WESLEYAN

 

FRONT

 

BURIAL GROUND

 

 

The Burial Ground beside Windhill Wesleyan Methodist Chapel – “The Mission” – must have been established shortly after construction of the buildings commenced in 1834. As the first burial took place in November 1835, the first graves were probably offered for sale earlier that year.  

 

The cemetery, which is known as the Front Burial Ground in official records, remained open until it was full in 1855. Burials continued in existing graves with the last interment taking place in 1918.

 

The Burial Ground is over 27 metres long and approximately 14 metres in width. These dimensions have scarcely changed since 1891, when the cemetery appeared on the first large scale OS plan. When the surrounding area was redeveloped in the 1960s, new boundary walls were constructed and it is possible that small amounts of land were lost. On the east and west sides, the new walls were built on top of the original construction, which can still be seen in places.

 

Transcriptions of the visible gravestones can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate reference on the plan below.

 

The information was acquired by inspecting the Interment Book held by Bradford Council. It has also been checked against transcriptions made by Janet Gioserano. Further details are available on the Calverley Info website.

 

The fonts approximate to those used by the masons who carved the stones. Where possible, the original layout, spacing, punctuation and spelling have been preserved.

 

The grid has been taken from the official " Plan of, and References to, the Front Burial Ground" found with the Interment Book. Each grave is a nominal 88” x 36”.  The actual layout of the graves appears to follow this grid fairly closely.  Graves that appear to straddle two plots, as with D5, D9, F4 and G4, are assumed to be double graves.

 

It is not known why the notation for Row I, against the south wall, departs from the pattern of the other rows.  According to the official Plan, the first six plots of Row I were unallocated. But, in fact, there are two small gravestones here, dedicated to Fell and Whatmough.  According to the Interment Book, these are located at Row 11/1 and Row 4/2 respectively.  
On another plan entitled " Plan of, and References to, the Lower Burial Ground” these two graves are shown on a strip of ground that contains a total of 115 graves in 27 rows.

While it has not been established exactly how this Plan relates to what can be seen on the ground, the author thinks it likely that this Lower Burial Ground was located below the existing Front Burial Ground, between its western wall and the Bradford Canal.  As it was some 60 metres long, it might have extended northwards alongside the Wesleyan Mission.  In 1865, some of this land would have disappeared when a newer, much larger Mission was constructed.  It may be significant that there were no interments in the Lower Burial Ground after 1860, even though there was still space. It may be further speculated that some gravestones, including those of Fell and Whatmough, were relocated around this time to empty plots in the Front Burial Ground.

 
 Name~Plot#  

Norton~R/N

Ackroyd~A1

Farrer~A3

Senior~A4

Jennings~A5

Laycock~A6

Stead~A10

Mellor~B1

Cordingley~B5

Cordingley~BM

Skirrow~B6

Butterfield~B8

Jennings~B9

Hillhouse~B10

Bower~C3

Crabtree~C5

Dawson~C7

Laycock~C8

Jennings~C9

Shutt~D1

Cloudsdale~D3

Deacon~D4

Wilcock~D5

Parker~D7

Bradley~D9

Deacon~E2

Tillotson~E5

 
 Name~Plot#  

Wilcock~EM

Oldfield~E6

Hird~E9

Bradley~E10

Brown~F3

Peel~F4

Wilcock~FM

Wilcock~F7

Ackroyd~F8

Oates~F10

Stead~G2

Bradshaw~G3

Peel~G4

Britton~GM

Bateson~G6

Harrison~G7

Wilcock~G10

Rushforth~H1

Deacon~H4

Dibb~HM

Jennings~H8

Hill~H9

Firth~H10

Fell~11/1

Whatmough~4/2

TT~I1

Gill~I5

 
 

 

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