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PARISH CHURCHYARD

Sileby Parish Churchyard - Memorials

"A churchyard is primarily a consecrated place set aside for burials" (National Churches Trust). This basic function of Sileby's burial ground ceased in 1881, although dispensation was given to widowed partners to be buried with their loved ones after this date. The closure of Sileby's parish churchyard ended probably over 800 years of interments there (if not more), and left a churchyard full of monuments along with a walled enclosure significantly higher than the surrounding roads and properties.

In 1961 a decision was made to move the grave markers and stones away from the main body of the churchyard, leaving those next to the church building largely intact. As far as I can be sure, I don't think a survey was made of  the memorials original location, therefore taking away much of their context; family plots can no longer be discerned in the wide grassed areas that replaced them. This survey outlines the locations of the various memorials as they were found from 2000-2020. Click on the individual areas above for more details.

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Sileby Parish Churchyard : Location of Memorials/Gravestones 2022

(not to scale)

Key          

1 : Northwest Corner

2 : Wilkins Memorials

3 : Porch - West

4 : Porch - East

5 : Chancel (outside) Memorials

Sileby Parish Churchyard - Memorials in their original positions

The removal of gravestones and markers in 1961 left the main body of churchyard bereft of its monuments, leaving an easy to maintain open area of grass.

At this moment I would say it is not possible to reconstruct the original sites of many of the monuments and family plots with any accuracy (except possibly the Wilkins monuments). No survey or plans were produced and most photographs (but not all) are not detailed enough to make out names to match with the remaining stones in the North West Corner.

 

Low level aerial photographs show the extent of the loss, and photographs from the beginning of the 20th century also show that the memorials were situated on every side of the church : north, west and south.

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Sileby Parish Churchyard : Aerial Photograph c1950

Rows of memorials all around the churchyard

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Sileby Parish Churchyard : Family enclosures, graves etc, undated (Goss)

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Sileby Parish Churchyard : Packed lines of Memorials c1930 (Robinson)

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Sileby Parish Churchyard : Main Gate c1905-10

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Sileby Parish Churchyard : North Side c1905

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