Burial plots are filling up fast but 15 years’ space remains

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ALTHOUGH the final patch of land at Grantham Cemetery is now being dug up, the district council is certain there are enough plots to last another 15 years.

With more than 765 spaces remaining, South Kesteven District Council does not anticipate running out of space just yet.

On average, 70 bodies are buried there every year, some in existing plots bought by families.

Once all the plots are filled, the district council plans to take over another site and it is currently looking at the options.

A council spokesman said: “Before any future development the public will be consulted as the relevant planning permission will be required.”

One option which the council has not considered so far is burials in 19th century graves to the front of the cemetery, a method used by a heavily crowded cemetery in London.

The radical step to reuse graves from the 1920s was taken in 2009, making it the first UK cemetery to take such action.

The cemetery in Harrowby Road was built in 1857, and it has been the resting place for 37,114 bodies and ashes burials.

Before it was built, bodies were laid to rest in an old burial ground off Manthorpe Road.

It may come as a surprise to many people that an anonymous brick wall behind a bus shelter opposite Slate Mill Place shields the old cemetery from view.

It was consecrated in 1812 when the churchyard at St Wulfram’s became full. The majority of burials in the town between 1812 and 1856 were made here, although few had a headstone and the full list of where people are buried will never be known.

Nowadays, the grass is cut regularly and the area maintained by workers from the district council but the site is closed to the public.

However, the old burial ground is opened up each year for one single day. On Heritage Sunday - this year on September 11 - volunteers from the Grantham Civic Society invite members of the public to go along and take a wander around the ancient graves.