Monument record MDR11294 - Churchyard, St Martin's Church, Alfreton
Type and Period (1)
(Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
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The enclosure map of 1812 shows the churchyard to have been smaller at that time than it was by the end of the 19th century, by which time it had been extended to the north into an area shown as woodland on the 1812 map. A terrier of 1744 refers to the churchyard fence on the west side having to be repaired by the lord of the manor and the other sides by the parish. The churchyard itself was described in 1850 as being 'in an inconveniently crowded condition'. On inspection and inquiry it was found that 'the graves on the south side are only three feet deep, because there is stone at that depth. On the north side there is a stiff clay, and the graves there have frequently water at three feet deep'. At some point in the past several old headstones have been used to create a path leading around the west side of the church. Another dated 1659 was apparently embedded in the wall of the old vicarage. (1)
In 1957 a vestry and meeting room were built in the churchyard on the north side of the church [see SMR 16212]. The greater part of the churchyard is north of the church and slopes down to the north, interspersed with trees. Most headstones are 19th century. Four early gravestones, including two dated 1666 and 1676 respectively, were found when the churchyard was cleared in the 1930s. A watching brief carried out on the installation of an electricity cable along the line of the footpath from the south-east gate to the tower did not encounter any burials and it was concluded that the approach to the church had always been on the existing line. A small quantity of disarticulated human remains was passed to the Vicar for re-interment. (2)
Unpublished document: Stroud, G. 1999. Extensive Urban Survey: Alfreton. Archaeological Assessment Report.. Component 1, p 13.
Unpublished document: Sumpter, T. 2007. St Martin's Church, Alfreton, Derbyshire: Archaeological Watching Brief.
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