Many of the graves in Area AB, the large open area to the east of the church, are still in situ, but most of the kerbstones are now buried (figure 1). Most are easily readable and in relatively good condition. Similarly, the gravestones in Cluster a are quite readable with one or two exceptions (figure 2). In recent years a number of memorial trees have been planted in this area, and a wildflower meadow has been established.
Figure 1. Area AB
Figure 2. Cluster a
Before the reorganisation of the 1960s, this area has a row and grave numbering system of its own that was used to identify grave locations. This is shown on the annotated plans of figure 3 (sheets 5b and 5c). Rows A to R were in section B, and Rows S to Z were in section A. The graves are numbered from north to south in each row. In the spreadsheet this system is transcribed as A.S15 or B.J15 for example, although in the registers only the row and grave numbers are given.
Figure 3. Rows in Area AB
The path between rows AB.R and AB.S is normally no longer visible but does occasionally reappear in very dry weather – figure 4.
Figure 4. Old path between rows AB.R and AB.S looking north, revealed in very dry weather of August 2022
Notable graves and monuments
Notable graves in this area include the following, shown in figure 5.
- The early chest tombs of the families of Francis Salt (d1753) and William Webb (d 1778).
- The slab tomb of the Sculptor and former Mayor of the city, Robert Bridgeman (d 1918).
- The coffin tomb of James Hall (d 1907), with its remarkable tree growth.
- The striking anchor shaped memorial to Jesse Rhodes (d 1902).
- The grave of a former long serving rector – Otho Steel (Rector, 1893-1913, d 1922).
- A Commonwealth War Grave in memory of Craftsman A. R. Wolfe, R. E. M.E., accidently killed in the closing days of the second world war in 1945, one of many such graves in the churchyard (in Cluster a).
Rhodes Steele Wolfe
Figure 5. Notable memorials in Area AB and Cluster a