Saturday 23 October 2010

St. Nicholas Churchyard 100 years ago

According to the Brighton Mortiquarian public health legislation enacted to curtail cholera and other epidemic diseases forbad burial in St Nicholas from around 1854, and this was followed in the 1870's by a clearance of monuments. This clearance must presumably have been rather selective, since in the early 1900's, as this postcard (postmarked 1906) shows, the churchyard was still well crammed. 

The low stature of the trees in this picture also remind one that Brighton was originally a very treeless town (Trees in Brighton - an earlier opinion) and it was not until the later half of the 19th. century that tree-planting began in earnest. By the 1940's the tree-cover in the churchyard and along its boundary was quite extensive. Some trees and shrubs were removed during the second clearance in the 1950's leaving the churchyard more like it is today.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fine picture, interesting especcially as it shows the upper railing on the perimiter wall as well as the location and quantity of headstones at the site.

    The clearance in the 1850's (1870 was a typographical error on one section of the site now amended)was quite specific in that it was carried out to crate space for the expansion of the church building and mostly affected the area to the north rather than the southern frontage shown in the picture.

    Records were not kept of this clearance by the church authorities, and Erridge records corpses and coffins being dumped down a disused well in the churchyard.

    Thank you for posting this picture and for pointing out my earlier error.


In event of difficulty in adding comment, email:-