Collecting pictures and stories of the monuments at Sidmouth Cemetery

Are you interested in adding to a database of photographs and histories of the people associated with Sidmouth Cemetery?

Ideas have been shared about looking at the cultural side of the Cemetery, for example doing more on the ‘monumental’ side of the historic site – including the interpretation of the sculptures and the arts, and maybe even something about the stories connected to the monuments.

There are well-known people buried in the Cemetery, such as Stephen Reynolds.

Plaque remembering Stephen Reynolds unveiled at Sidmouth Museum | Sidmouth Herald

But there are also stories to be told and shared about loved ones – to keep their memory alive. It might just need an illustrator, web editor and a bit of content to get it started. 

There is also the suggestion of cleaning headstones so they are legible – as well as starting to record what works might be needed – for example: to avoid further subsidence, to keep headstones upright, to carry out some repairs to the more impressive sculpted features and to put together some interpretation. 

There are places to go for information – with the most comprehensive being at the Devon Records Office, where there are catalogues, although a fee is chargeable.

The website Find a Grave has searchable details of 626 graves in Sidmouth Cemetery – including photography:

Memorials in Sidmouth Cemetery – Find a Grave

And over time it is hoped that the Cherishing Sidmouth Cemetery can build on these records.

Kate Tobin has already contributed some fabulous photos of the monuments around the Cemetery:

Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries: bringing visions together – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Launching a ‘friends group’ for Sidmouth’s cemeteries @ the VGS AGM: Tues 14th Nov – Vision Group for Sidmouth

And last weekend, she was busy clearing graves and monuments of grass. Here’s her report on social media, together with a further fine set of photos:

Spent two hours raking a patch of the mulched grass at the cemetery today on a day off. Waxcaps and wildflowers will benefit next summer. Graves of Harriet Harding and Margaret Iris Lock are visible again. Also a bit more clearing round Stephen Reynolds.

(20+) Sid Valley Biodiversity Group | Spent two hours raking a patch of the mulched grass at the cemetery today on a day off | Facebook