The start of summer saw us opening the Burial Ground for one day a month as a series of Open Days. Guided walks took place, as well as wildlife trails. We were pleasantly surprised at how many turned up – in June we had 35 people visit. In September we commemorated 170 years since the Burial Ground was first consecrated. There is now only one more Open Day planned for 2016 on Saturday the 15th October.
We have installed a new seat, which has kindly been made available to us by the Friends of Lister Lane Cemetery, Halifax. This has been placed at the top of the Burial Ground and give a good view over the site, as well as being a peaceful place to sit.
Members of Upper Wharfedale Field Society kindly volunteered to undertake a wildflower and tree survey for us and hopefully, will return next year to monitor again. Some of the saplings planted last year are thriving but others have not done so well, although we were warned by the Woodland Trust (who kindly provided them) that not all would survive so to have around one-third survive is good.
Last year we undertook a limited excavation of the chapel site and this year, we are returning at the end of October to undertake a two-day excavation to see what other information we can find. Janis Heward, archaeologist, is supervising the work as she did last year. Look out for our findings in the next newsletter.
Research continues on the people in Raikes Road and we have been fortunate to make contact with one of the Wade descendants, who provided a photograph of Jane Wade and her son, Robert Wade. Jane’s husband, Thomas, was Sexton of both the Churchyard and Raikes Road but he died aged just 33 and by the look of Jane’s widow’s outfit, this photograph was probably taken after Thomas died.
Jane re-married to Thomas Bolton, a Grocer in the High Street, and both he and Jane are buried in Raikes Road, as is Thomas Wade. These kinds of connections and information are very important to us and so if you think that you have a relative buried in Raikes Road (or have photographs/information about people or the Burial Ground in general), then please do get in touch with us. The more knowledge we have, the richer the site becomes, especially when information about the Ground and its residents is so sparse.
Thanks to Stuart Banks for allowing us to use the photograph.