The cemetery then and now

The cemetery then and now

Comparing the early photographs of the cemetery (held in the SWOP collection) with those taken most recently it is possible to see how open the surrounding countryside was in those early years. The town had yet to expand onto the neighbouring farmland and the need for a much larger burial area had not, as yet, been considered. The trees along Lime Avenue were probably there from the beginning but very little else. And the view of the newly planted trees in the later 1920s extension reminds us of how things must have looked back in 1855 when the Victorian sections opened for those very first burials.

There is no Friends Group for Wycombe Cemetery, chiefly because the later sections are still very much in use and it is well cared for and tended by Wycombe District Council. Little activity now takes place in the original Victorian sections other than regular grass cutting and maintenance but it remains a popular walk into town for Wycombe residents living further up the hill. Thus it is far from deserted for much of the day and remains a friendly open space with plenty of wildlife – plants, insects, birds and animals. It also has some excellent views of the town below and is well worth a visit.

The cemetery then and now 

 

 

I suppose you could, therefore, call me a Plot Spotter as opposed to a Friend. I’m seeking out the graves and the history of the families within them – for each one has a story to tell if you stop to look and listen.

Neither is this a record of the inscriptions on each gravestone (though photos of each stone will have been taken) but it is much more a record of the lives of those who lie beneath. Indeed, many gravestones are now too worn to see the original inscription, some stones are no longer there at all or have toppled over onto their inscribed side, and for many of Wycombe’s poor there was no gravestone anyway,

Fellow Plot Spotter Richard Ogden  

 

just a multiple public burial plot with no marker whatsoever.

So this is a work in progress and you have arrived at a website which I started in June 2011 after five years of research. I have been helped in this task by our very supportive Cemetery Officer, Derek, and my fellow Plot Spotter, Richard (right), who has a wealth of experience in cemetery administration. We hope, over time, that we will have researched most of the families buried in these early sections of the Cemetery and learnt a great deal more about them but a huge task lies ahead of us. Hopefully, plenty of interesting stories will reveal themselves and, perhaps, even the odd mystery too. I do hope so.

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