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Widecombe Church Headstones

Headstones & Memorials from Marked Graves, Widecombe.

There is an Inventory of Gravestones for Widecombe, Leusdon and other sites collected in 1968. The printed record is kept in a file in the aumbry niche in Widecombe South Transept for consultation by visitors and researchers. It includes the location plans and details of the graves, particularly in St Pancras Church Yard. The names are listed in full, but in several cases names added after the original burial have not been included. Several inscriptions have been transcribed, and the text recorded. There are some inconsistencies in the transcriptions. The 1968 list is now 45 years out of date.

The Widecombe History Group requested that a revised listing be made, with a photograph of each gravestone, updating the original listing of about 370 gravestones.

This new list preserves the original numbering system for continuity, as far as possible. 2 gravestone identifications have not been confirmed from examination on the ground. 39 additional gravestones have been identified and recorded in the old churchyard. 88 graves in the new graveyard to the east have been mapped systematically and recorded. New information, not in the 1968 listing covers 18 gravestones in the church interior (Section 'I'), In addition 23 memorials have been mapped and recorded including the latest window Memorial to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (Section 'Z'). An unmarked stone cross outside the South Door is recorded, together with initials and date chiselled into the south face of the Tower at high level.

The majority of the gravestones originate from dates after 1700. The construction of the Church Tower was in about 1628, before the damaging Great Storm of October 1638. The 5-foot height of the ground above the Village Square suggests that spoil excavated from this construction may cover an older generation of gravestones, especially since almost all recorded gravestones post-date this period. The oldest gravestone identified is probably that located inside the church at the western edge of the Chapel of St Catherine. It bears the incised image of a chalice and is believed to relate to a John Shillingford, Canon of Exeter (his will proved in 1406), (Ref S H Woods, p49), a name probably also associated with Widecombe Town Manor. In the South zone (E), original reference numbers have been retained, but a grid reference has been added to aid location of scattered stones. The selection of alignments into lines is arbitrary and subjective, but hopefully avoids missing a location In the New Churchyard (H), Grid Numbers have been created to organise sites partially occupied for future burials.

Using this Inventory of Gravestones

The total listing now adds up to about 780 name-entries and approximately 590 photographs. There are additional gravesites (mounds), some fairly recent, but without any identifying gravestones.

The graveyard had been subdivided in the 1968 record into 8 Zones. Each zone has a separate plan (A to H). Additional zones for the church Interior (I) as well as Memorials (Z) have been created. This new Listing is in a spreadsheet format permitting filtering and sorting of the contents for printing. The same spreadsheet is used as a database in the History Group website. Each Gravestone is tabulated, by zone with a sequential Ref number, recording surname, with separate entries for each forename listed on the stone. The date and year of death complete the statistics. In addition a notes column adds text information from the gravestone such as domicile, relationship, and age at death. Zone H also lists the full inscription text on each gravestone.

Each gravestone has a cross-reference to its ".jpg" photo-record filename. This filename is formed from Zone and Ref in the Inventory entry. Thus photograph P002_E127.jpg refers to table entry E127 (Warren; James and Elizabeth). Multiple photos for a single gravestone are denoted by suffix a, b, c etc. "P002" refers to the overall WHG Archive catalogue reference.


All the photographic images are subject to international copyright to the author R.G.Casey to whom all rights are reserved. Reproduction or sale of the images is only permitted with a specific formal written consent from the author for such use, which has been granted for this website.

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Reference Number Description More Detail
P002 All Zones
P002 Zone A Old Churchyard Zone A
P002 Zone B Old Churchyard Zone B
P002 Zone C Old Churchyard Zone C
P002 Zone D Old Churchyard Zone D
P002 Zone E Old Churchyard Zone E
P002 Zone F Old Churchyard Zone F
P002 Zone G Old Churchyard Zone G
P002 Zone H New Churchyard
P002 Zone I Church Interior
P002 Zone Z Church Memorials

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