Parish to Receive Survey of Churchyard on 9 June
The response to the call for ‘Holy Gardeners’ was good, and thank you to all who came along to help tidy up the churchyard at St Mary with St Alban’s. Now a little more about the history and what we know about burials.
Until 1884 the churchyard was the only official burial ground in Teddington. In earlier times most people were buried without any marked grave, and only the rich afforded tombs in the church vault, with a memorial on the wall.
The vaults in St Mary’s were sealed early in the 19th century, and the sexton’s records from that time onwards tell of about 20 burials a month, the majority still in unmarked graves. There were five additions to the churchyard over three centuries.
The earliest gravestone dates from 1627, but since the churchyard was closed in 1884 burials have occurred mainly in the Shacklegate Lane cemetery. Since 1977 general maintenance of the churchyard has been the responsibility of Richmond Council, but the church still looks after flowers and the tidiness of and around the graves.
Over the last year the West Middlesex Family Historical Society (WMFHS) has been surveying the churchyard, finding nearly 400 gravestones, as well as memorials for scattered ashes.
On Sunday 9 June, at about 5pm, the parish and church will be receiving from WMFHS its finished survey in a short ceremony, as part of Teddington in Flower, in the presence of the Deputy Mayor.
Please come along, enjoy a cup of tea, and help us keep faith with our heritage, as well as show our gratitude to Roland Bostock and Yvonne Masson who will be giving us this valuable contribution to the Teddington story.