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Audlem Cemetery – Part I

2nd December 2020 @ 6:06am – by Ralph Warburton
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Ed – It is some time since we last published the story of the Audlem Cemetery – there will be quite a few "new" Audlem residents who will not know, and some older ones who have perhaps forgotten, the history of this remarkable village place.

The story will be in three parts, during the next few days

Part I – history of the cemetery
Part II – War graves and paupers graves
Part III – Present Day

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The history of Audlem Cemetery

1872

  • Burial Board formed- catering for the ecclesiastical area of the St James Church as decreed by Chester Diocese.

1873

  • January 21st. Borrowed £2000 (in today's money that is about £160,000) – at interest rate of 5% -over 30 instalments – HP!!
  • February 4th Board buys 2 acres from the estate of John Knight Armstrong . for £600 ( £48,000)

1874

  • The Board builds the Chapels at a cost of £170,000 in today's money.
  • Architect was Thomas Bower – of Bower Eddlestone – Nantwich!
  • The Chapels- in Victorian Gothic style – are listed buildings. With fine Minton tiled floors and unique timber ceilings. The traditional Gargoyle is there on the central roof area. Along with a fine and unique glazed carved cameo of Christ
  • September 16th . Cemetery opens
  • December 4th – First burial – an independent widow named Hannah Sandells aged 66 in grave number 152! On the left of the very first path. Why in the middle of the area I do not understand, for at that time it would have been an open field.
  • An Ann Evans bought the grave for 16 shillings ' – about £300 today
  • Cost of the burial was £1.7.6d . Ann Evans was then also buried there in 1875

1894

  • Burial Board becomes "The Joint Burial Board" .

1921/22

  • Need for more land recognised.

1923

  • A Ministry of health enquiry was held in the Public Hall ( Bulit in 1903/4 ) to determine the need for the extension of the cemetery. This was voted as a yes by the village.

1924

  • Accordingly, Joint Burial Board bought 3 acres and 38 perches. Perch is an old measure equal to 30 sq yds (160 sq perches to an acre) from a certain Mr William Smith .
  • Richard Mathews was the architect .

Today

Within the older area, we have some 500 old C of E graves and on the right hand side and on the right, a further 450 purchased graves for the non C of E residents- including of course the paupers graves – all of whom were then buried in un-consecrated land!

RW – If you wish any help in any way do contact me on 07813 820157 or rjw@notrubraw.com

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