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Closing cemetery


clairec79
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If a cemetery has been closed for 50+ years and the gravestones are due to be removed (Church has been sold off)

It's just been discovered that there are 3 war graves there (All was overgrown and it's only after a lot of work with strimmers they've been discovered)

Are there any rules on these gravestones (they are CWG)? Can they be removed? Do CWG have to be informed or is there anyone who would want the stones otherwise (I don't know if they are WW1 or 2 at present)

I've given the new owner CWG phone number and they'll be called tomorrow but thought people on here may know.

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Please can you give the location of the cemetery and I'll see if I can find out more (PM me if you wish).

CWGC will almost certainly know about the proposal and will be making representations or plans on alternative commemoration. Unfortunately, they have no powers to stop such action.

If the worst comes to the worst, they will remove the stones which are their property and probably erect alternative commemoration stones in a nearby cemetery.

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Now found out it's MAESYCWMMER (TABOR) CONGREGATIONAL CHAPELYARD and only actually ONE war grave (anyone know any more about him?)

MORRIS, LEVI RICHARDS

Initials: L R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: Welsh Regiment

Unit Text: 17th Bn.

Age: 33

Date of Death: 13/06/1918

Service No: 46102

Am trying to convince new owner to leave his grave as a memorial (eg surround it with something and lay wreath etc on 11/11) which I think is more likely as there is only 1 (I think the other two she originally mentioned must have been people who died during WW1 not because of it) whereas if it had been a few that had been spread around then they probably would have been needed to place together for this to happen)

Thanks

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From SDGW

Born Rumney, Glam

Enlisted Caerphilly

Resident Hengoed, Glam

Died of wounds

Chris

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anyone know any more about him?

Claire

Son of Richard (b. 1862) and Elizabeth Ann (b. 1861) Morris. In the census of Wales in 1901, the family lived at 34 Lynewydd (?) Street, Gelligaer, Glamorgan.

In addition to Levi, there other family members were sons Willie (b. 1889), Rupert (b. 1893) and Alfred (b. 1900) and daughters Ann (b. 1891) and Mattie (b. 1896).

Levi is shown to be a coalminer, as is his father.

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  • 6 years later...

CWGC still have him listed as in the churchyard. Their photograph shows the churchyard with other headstones still in place.

Keith

Edit: Google streetview also shows the site as overgrown, but with memorials still standing.

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This may be of interest (My Bold Text)

Burial in ‘private’ or ‘family’ graves was assumed to be ‘in perpetuity’until the Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977. This stipulated rights of burial for a maximum period of 100 years, except in the case of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which can still grant burial rights without limit. Church of England churchyards may be closed for further burials by Order in Council, a process which cannot be reversed. Under English law the Church of England is allowed to pass to local authorities churchyards closed for burials responsibility for care and maintenance.

See:

http://webarchive.na...ial-grounds.pdf

Norman

Added from first post

If a cemetery has been closed for 50+ years and the gravestones are due to be removed (Church has been sold off) ?

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Received today:

I am in receipt of your enquiry regarding the above. Please be advised that to date no planning application has been submitted in respect of this property and as such it is not known if the graveyard would be affected or even included in any application. It may be that the chapel has been sold without the graveyard? In any event, the future of the graveyard is a private matter and may I respectfully suggest that you contact the original chapel owner or new chapel owner for clarification in this respect. My limited understanding of this matter is that if there are graves and it is intended to build upon or purchase the ground they are on, it will first have to be deconsecrated. I believe any developer would have to contact the Home Office in this respect.

Michele Davies

Principal Planner

Caerphilly County Borough Council

Telephone: 01495 235227

e-mail: daviem2@caerphilly.gov.uk

Regards

Norman

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Has any member an update on this topic?, perhaps Clairec79 the first poster or Terry Denhan can give us an update as interest in this has appeared to have dried-up for the moment.

Regards

Norman

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Thanks, here is a reponse from the Anglican Church in Wales.

Dear Mr.

Thank you for your email dated 18 October. Unfortunately the chapel to which you refer was, or is, not the property of the Church in Wales. The Church in Wales is the Anglican church denomination, the Welsh equivalent of the Church of England. Congregational chapels tend to be owned independently by the member of the chapel so I am not certain who you could contact to find out the information you need. If the property has been sold HM Land Registry should have the details of sale, some of which are available for members of the public to access.

I am sorry I can’t be more helpful.

Yours sincerely,

John Davies

John Davies, MA

Estates Officer

The Representative Body of the Church in Wales

Norman

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Many Congregational Chapels eventually became part of the United Reformed Church. Depending on what you wish to know, you could try writing to the Synod of the United Reformed Church in Wales which is likely to hold documentation, or even contacting the RCAHMW Heritage of Wales Chapels project.

I have had pleasant dealings with the latter.

Gwyn

Edited to add links.

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I very much appreciate your efforts in this matter; my only reason for pursuing this is that the first posting seemed to imply that the gravestones were in imminent danger of being removed after the sale of the site. In my experience this would also require exhumation of any human remains followed by reinterment and this would not happen without the involvement of the appropriate authorities and would face understandable opposition from those who have family buried here plus the fact there is a CWGC grave on the site. I think that it is important that the members of the forum understand exactly what is going on here which is not at all clear from the initial posts.

Regards

Norman

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Re exhumation and reinterment. I'm sorry to say that this isn't always the case. I know of a Methodist chapel in Wales in my relatives' village where the devoloper exhumed some of the graves and built on top of the rest, which had not been emptied. The majority of the headstones were sent for scrap. I don't believe any official record was made of the graves lost, though I think volunteers tried their best. I have the impression that strenuous efforts were not made to find any family.

This happened in the last five years. Apart from the spiritual dimension of having a human body resting under a parking space or a new-build house, the original 19c relatives would have invested a small fortune in buying the grave and having a stone erected. They might even have been my family, and my family under the luxury flats and parking space, though most belonged to a different chapel.

Gwyn

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At the moment there appears to be no builders or any other movement to develop the chapel or grounds. Once we know who has the deeds, progress can be made. Knowing the area from my other half. There could be a stink anyway about the other graves. some look a bit recent!

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Here is an example in Bristol where a Methodist Church has been tastefully redeveloped as residential property and then the attached burial ground was bought by a speculator who proposed to remove all the graves and develop the site. Luckily the locals were so incensed at this that they formed an action group which no doubt helped when eventually the city council purchased the site and is now maintaining it.

This link may be of interest:

http://www.friendsof...net/Default.htm

5493679397_6aed74bb24_z.jpg

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I believe there is a 50 year window in which a relative can object to the redevelopment of a grave (ie burials within the 50 years before the proposed development). In fact 50 years is still within living memory - anyone in their early 50s or older is likely to have some memories of a grandparent or relative who died during their early childhood.

It used to be that developers would back off before digging up a graveyard, but evidently that's no longer the case. Personally I find it appalling that buildings can be erected over human remains.

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Norman

According to this website Click the chapel is grade II listed; It ought to be possible to obtain the Land Registry details (Title & Plan) as pdfs using the 'Find a Property' search Here The plan should show whether the graveyard is still considered as part of the property (at least as currently known to the LR) & if you're lucky the title document will give the current owner; the bad news is that, although not unreasonable for an online service, there's a charge of £3.00 for each.

NigelS

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I suspect that so far as the specific property is concerned we are all trying too hard. The CWGC have information about access, and their interest will be noted. They are unlikely to do more in the short term than just maintain a watching brief, but I do feel that we should respect their professionalism and await their reply to Terry.

They will have dealt with a number of such situations, and are well versed in dealing with them. It appears from the original posts, that the property, in whole or part changed hands once, although of course a sale might have fallen through, and it is surely likely that the costs involved probably turned out to be uneconomic for the new or prospective owner.

I have visited UK memorials to casualties where churchyards have been cleared, and an appropriate special memorial has always been negotiated and put in place.

Keith

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Unless I've missed something, Terry's post was in 2005.

I have no especial interest other than suggesting a line of inquiry.

Gwyn

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