|Canvey Island, St Katherine Churchyard|
Also known as: Canvey Island, Heritage Centre, St Katherine Churchyard, Canvey Island
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Canvey Island is no longer an island in the true sense of the word-it is connected to the ‘mainland' by a causeway. It is located in the south of Essex on the north shore of the Thames Estuary. Its name derived from the Saxon language and their word Caningaege meaning The Island of Cana's People. The more familiar name of Caneveye appears in manorial records of 1254. The development of written English in the middle ages often produced a confused use of letters such that comparative spellings would also include Canefe, Kaneweye, Kaneveye, and Koneveye.
The arrival in the 5th century of the Saxons in Essex established sheep-farming across the south of the county. The area of Canvey was recorded in the Domesday book as a sheep farming pasture.During the Victorian era Canvey was a very fashionable place to visit and many thought its air to have healing properties. Canvey Island benefited from this and thousands of people flocked to it especially from places like London. St Katherine's graveyard is not an ancient one, the first burial recorded took place in 1813, with early burials taking place at St Mary's at Benfleet. Not many 19th century headstones can be found and a lot of the 20th century headstones are no longer legible. Saint Katherine's Church was built in 1874 in Canvey Road, behind an original Church that was run by the early Dutch Settlers in the 1600's. Replaced by St Nicholas Church in Long Road, it fell into decay until it was taken over by an Arts & Crafts Centre. St. Katherine's became redundant and was taken over by the Heritage Centre in 1979. Castle Point Borough Council is responsible for grave digging and cemetery grounds maintenance operations. (text by Geoffrey Gillon)