Bethesda Graveyard, Bank Top

The graveyard of Bethesda Primitive Methodist Chapel, Bank Top was granted in 1888, and opened on 26th September 1888.

The following people, and/or members of their family, are recorded here:

Henry Barber [1805-1872]
Thomas Henry Barber [1831-1867]
James Bentley [1825-1883]
Arthur Albert Broadley [1861-1923]
James Crowther [18??-18??]
John Crowther [1825-1865]
James Feather [1845-1892]
Joseph Green [1838-1885]
David Hartley [1845-1906]
Joseph Hemingway [1838-1908]
Joseph Holdsworth [1833-1886]
William Holdsworth [1849-1911]
Jesse Hoyle [1821-1893]
Tom Jackson [1866-1935]
George Laycock [1832-1897]
William Mallinson [1871-1910]
John Maude [1838-1915]
Rev George Newton [1841-1912]
Samuel Priestley [1881-1918]
Arthur Ramsden [1907-1940]
Frank Robinson [1880-1924]
William Wallace Wilby [1836-1895]
John Wilson [18??-18??]

The Chapel was approached by steps between high walls – although there was access to the graveyard via the gate in Trooper Lane.

Until 1900, the wall surrounding the graveyard was 18 ins high, and the land rose in a steep slope to the level of the burial ground. The local authority built a retaining wall which was 15 ft high. This was found to be unsafe, and was replaced by a new wall some years later.

In December 1944, it was minuted that the attention of the Borough Engineer be drawn to the state of the graveyard wall, asking if anything can be done about it. A reply (contents unknown) was read at a Chapel meeting on 25th January 1945.

In February 1945, the wall was shored up as a protection. In March, the Highways Committee agreed to pay half the cost of repairing the wall.

On 21st July 1946, it was decided to accept the tender of Messrs Watmough: £1,024 8/11d.

At 10:45 pm on 30th May 1947, the retaining wall of the graveyard collapsed – exposing the coffins and corpses. The catastrophe required 28 re-burials. The work had to be done at night.

The concrete replacement wall was still to be seen [until 2003].

There was another small graveyard across the road at the top of Marsh Lane, next to Bolton Lodge.

A licence for the exhumation and clearance of the graveyard was issued in late 1993.

In September 2003, the original graveyard was cleared and housing was built on the site

See Alice Barker Trust

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 14:04 / 28th December 2023 / 5335

Page Ref: WW_63

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