Civic Society book ‘Grantham’s Hidden Graveyard Revealed’ offering subscribers ‘touch of immortality’

The old burial ground off Manthorpe Road.

The old burial ground off Manthorpe Road.

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The Grantham Civic Society are giving people the chance to enter the history books, by becoming a subscriber of their latest publication.

The book titled ‘Grantham’s Hidden Graveyard Revealed’ is the result of three years’ research by local resident Janice Webb, who became fascinated by this little known corner of the town, located off Manthorpe Road.

Front cover of Grantham's Hidden Graveyard Revealed, by Janice Webb.

Front cover of Grantham's Hidden Graveyard Revealed, by Janice Webb.

“I have always been interested in family history, and fascinated by graveyards and the stories you can discover from researching the names,” she explains.

Among the many stories she has unearthered is the mysterious death of a soldier at the George Hotel, although she says you’ll have to read the book to find out more!

In the book she details how burials took place at this graveyard from about 1812, until the town cemetery opened in 1857. The book describes the founding of the burial ground, and those known to be buried there.

Furthermore it gives an insight into the social history of Grantham in the first half of the 19th century, and is well illustrated throughout with many photos taken by Janice, her daughter Stephanie and others who assisted with the research, which also saw them discover many sunken and previously forgotten graves.

Gravestones are described and there is a section on the stonemasons, their materials and their art. There is even a tree survey as the trees were originally planted in pairs by what was then known as the Grantham Tree Society.

The place holds a particular significance for Janice as it was while visiting the graveyard for the annual heritage walk in 1995 that she was struck by the beauty of the location and a nearby house on Alford Street, which she subsequently bought and has been her home ever since.

The burial ground will be open as usual on Heritage Sunday, September 13, from 1pm until 4pm, when Janice will also be on hand to sign copies of her book.

Journal readers can become subscribers for the book and have their names printed in it by emailing the format in which they wish this to appear (i.e. John Smith or J.Smith) to Courtney Finn, the chaiman of the Civic Society, at chairman@granthamcivicsociety.co.uk

Courtney said: “The Civic Society are delighted with this book. Janice has been working very hard on this for some years and done an enormous amount of research and taken many photos.

“It is a unique piece of Grantham that is still here over 200 years later. We take people there every year for the heritage weekend, and last year saw in excess of 100 people visit.”

He added: “The book will make an ideal birthday or Christmas present, and you could put the gift recipient’s name as a subscriber - as well as your own maybe - and they will be delighted at this little touch of immortality. The proceeds from the book will enable the Civic Society to continue its work to celebrate famous people, places and events in the town.

“The book is a limited edition and is sure to become a collectors’ item.”

To receive a copy of the book, you can take or send a cheque for £8 per copy made payable to Grantham Civic Socity, to Brownacres, Green Lane, Grantham, NG31 9PP or pay by BACS transfer to the society at NatWest Grantham, sort code 60-09-09, account number 03305198. You must note your name so that the treasurer can identify your payment. You should then email the chairman, Courtney Finn, as above, to let him know of your order with your full postal address and phone number. The deadline for names and payment is Saturday, August 15.