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Introduction by Janet Meads, 2007

Monumental Inscriptions
in the churchyards and burial grounds
of Burton Latimer.


Burton Latimer’s Burial Grounds and Cemeteries

The first graves in the churchyard would not have been marked but relatives would have known under which mound their loved ones would have lain. Then wooden crosses were placed to mark the graves but these rotted and later, stones with inscriptions began to be used instead. These monumental inscriptions are often the only record of the past inhabitants of Burton Latimer and sadly, many of these are becoming increasingly illegible.

Pauline Swailes spent 2006 and part of 2007 recording the inscriptions for the Society. This was not an easy task: some of the graves have been vandalised and others worn and broken. Pauline's notes were transcribed by Sarah Gilbert and then checked by Janet and John Meads on site and also using church burial registers, censuses, the Internet, and other sources, including an earlier survey by Trevor Cooper twenty years ago.

The Society is very grateful for the time and effort of our volunteers and we hope that the following records will be of help to family historians and a permanent record, in years to come, when the stones are no longer readable.

Some of the stones bear no person's name or are already only partly legible. These have been listed in the "Unattributed" section. Some of the dates and details may be helpful to researchers. Whilst great efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, if mistakes have occurred, they will be rectified as soon as possible when drawn to our attention.
It is also important to note that the survey ended in the spring of 2007 and that since then some temporary wooden crosses may have been replaced by permanent memorials, additions made to memorials or new burials taken place.

Nonetheless, the transcriptions and listings given here are the most comprehensive which have yet appeared in printed form

As a further aid to finding details of those Burton Latimer residents who have been cremated at Kettering since 1940 or buried at Burton Latimer Cemetery since 1923 it is possible to research using the Deceased Online website.

(The abbreviations given here are the ones which appear in the listings)

The Churchyard (CHY)

The earliest burials in Burton Latimer are in unmarked graves with no memorials. Even those recorded in the Parish Burial Registers from 1538 cannot be identified in any particular part of the churchyard. There are a few memorials surviving in the church, the earliest being that of Margaret, the wife of Thomas Bacon who died in 1626 but the earliest legible gravestone in the churchyard is that of James Blofield 1717, which has Grade II Listed status.

Early burials would have been close to the Church, the corpse would have been laid to rest in a white shroud but not in a coffin. As time passed and space became a premium, it was necessary to place other burials on top of the ones already there. This probably accounts for the embankments on the north and west of the paths leading to the Church door.

The Lower Churchyard (LCY)

In 1880 a piece of land owned by the Rev. F.B. Newman to the south and adjacent to the original churchyard was laid out as an extension and became known as the lower churchyard. It was consecrated by Bishop Magee and vested in trustees for the use of church people. This is now closed.

The Parish Council Cemetery (PCM)

By the 1880s the Baptist graveyard in Meeting Lane was no longer sufficient for that Church's needs and it was decided that the Parish should provide a burial ground for those who did not qualify, or did not wish to be buried in St. Mary’s churchyard.

So, in about 1886, it was decided that ground on the left of Church Lane opposite the churchyard would be purchased to provide mainly for the interment of non-conformists. This is also now closed.

The Public Cemetery (CEM)

With the growth of the town in the early 1900s, it became necessary for the Parish Council to purchase another piece of land for burials. This was done, and by May 1912 a new cemetery had been provided at the far end of Church Lane . This was extended in 1951. With the closure of the churchyard to further burials, the enlarged cemetery has now become the town’s principal burial ground and is presently used for all burials, although some cremated remains are still placed in the churchyard.

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