The original Churchyard was a small area of ground immediately round the Church and it is there that the earliest graves are to be found [alphabetic rows in the registers]. Mr Ballantine Dykes (rector 1848–1872) added half an acre to the west in 1868 [rows 1 to 16 in the registers], and in 1909 Mr Laverty (rector 1872–1928) added a further acre to the west of the old Rectory garden [rows 17 to 30 in the registers]. The third addition, between Mr Laverty’s part and Churchfields estate, was brought into use in 1965. To provide for the reverent interment of the ashes of those cremated, a garden of remembrance, surrounded by a hedge and planted with rose bushes, was set apart in 1964 by Canon Tudor Jones (rector 1934–1966) on the south side of Mr Dykes’ addition. A further plot for cremations (the ‘new garden’) was added opposite the south porch in 1989, and in 2006 a third plot was added to the east of this.
In 1878, Mr Laverty recorded all the headstones in the churchyard at that time, and had them printed in a pamphlet: Epitaphs in the Churchyard of All Saints’ Church, Headley, Hants.
In 1980, Mrs J Hobbs and Mr AC Colpus of the Hampshire Genealogical Society (HGS), added to Mr Laverty’s list of 200 entries, bringing the total to 1,183 entries. These were published by the HGS and copies lodged in the Hampshire Record Office at Winchester and in the All Saints’ Church Office in Headley.
In 1997, The Headley Society decided to update the list again, and this website represents the combined efforts of a number of contributors, mainly from The Headley Society, during the three years 1997/99 [see Acknowledgements].
A few entries have been added since 1999, but not in any consistent manneralso a long-term intention is to add to the list all those burials recorded in the Registers which have no existing monument. This will give a more complete picture of burials in the Parish. There is work to be done hereany offers of help welcome!
Our thanks to the many people, both in The Headley Society and from elsewhere, who helped to compile this current list—you are too numerous to mention here individually—and my particular thanks to the late Kathy Presnail for her interest and support when it was needed.
This report represents the combined efforts of a number of contributors, but we are all fallible. We have done our best, and hope that you will take the list in that spirit. If you have any better information which you feel should be added, please let me know.
Mr Laverty adopted a simple numbering system in his work of 1878, in which monuments were numbered from 1 to 200 following a route which went, roughly, from the vestry door and around the east end of the church to the south porch, then again from the vestry door around the west end and tower.
The HGS survey took Mr Laverty’s entries as read, and started numbering their own from 201. Their route was somewhat tortuous where they were in effect recording the ‘in-filling’ which had occurred within the bounds of Mr Laverty’s entries, but became more straightforward when they were able to record in ‘pastures new’. They decided to split the churchyard into six areas as follows:
The Headley Society retained these numbers when checking and updating their list, used suffixes (eg. 1107a) when identifying new graves inserted between two on the HGS list, and added new numbers beginning at 1200 for fresh areas of the ‘new churchyard’ used since the HGS list was published.
However, this numbering system does not give a very accurate idea of the location of graves in all cases, and The Headley Society intends to add the physical co-ordinates for each entry where these are available from church burial records. For this purpose a spare column has been reserved. In particular, this column has been used to identify plot locations in the ‘new garden of remembrance’–see Cj1, etc.
In Mr Laverty’s list, the wording of each inscription was laid out line by line as it appeared on the stones. The HGS list did not follow this convention. It used many abbreviations (eg. IELMO = In ever loving memory of) and did not record the epilogues associated with each stone.
The Headley Society decided to adopt a convention between these two extremes. All text on each stone was recorded, and line breaks shown by a ‘/’ symbol. This allowed for maximum data to be recorded using minimum space on the page. In addition, any notes involving text not on the stone, such as an indication as to the shape of the monument, or which face the text was written on, or its legibility, etc, were to be included in square brackets.
A fictitious example of how an entry might be recorded is as follows:
[Celtic Cross on plinth with kerbstones] [plinth] In / affectionate remembrance / of / Lucy ATTWELL, / beloved wife of Wilfred ATTWELL, / who departed this life, March 28th. 1862, / in her 70th year / "Peace Perfect Peace." / Also / her [-?-], Wilfred ATTWELL, / who departed this life, Jany. 31st 1865. / Aged 7[-] years. / [line illegible] [South kerb] Also their daughter, Eliza ATTWELL, who died May 14th 1871, aged 56 years. [East kerb] "At Rest" [Mason] A.E. Lovegrove / Forbury
Note that surnames are recorded in capital letters to distinguish them easily from other text, which is (generally) recorded in upper and lower case letters whether or not these were used on the stone.
All deceased and any other people named on the monument are included in the index to the list. This was considered to be of greater benefit to those tracing ancestors than merely recording the deceased themselves. Likewise, a woman’s maiden name as well as her married name may be included in the index where this is obvious from the text on the monument.
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