|Ascension Parish Burial Ground|
Also known as: Cambridge, Ascension Parish Burial Ground, Cambridge, Ss Giles & Peter Burial Ground, Cambridge, Ss Giles & Peter Church Cemetery
|All Souls Lane, Huntingdon Road|
Postal Code: CB3 0EA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The church of St Giles and St Peter stands at the junction of Castle Street/Castle Hill with Chesterton Road, but the Ascension Parish Burial Ground,[a church cemetery created when the churchyard became closed to further interments], is off the Huntingdon Road near the junction with Storey's Way in the northwest of Cambridge.
It includes the graves of many Cambridge academics and non-conformists of the 19th and early 20th century. A small chapel was also built on the grounds.The one and a half acres of the burial ground were established in 1857, the first burial being in 1869. Today some 2,500 people of every religious denomination and none, are buried in 1,500 plots. It is the final resting place of many city and university dignitaries, scientists, scholars,[including three Nobel prize winners] and 22 Knights of the Realm. It is a designated City Wildlife Site and is part of the Storey's Way Conservation area. In 2005 the plant species present were catalogued and the site is now managed so as to encourage wildlife and habitat diversity, as well as to care for the graves themselves. It is a ‘hidden' part of the busy and rapidly expanding city and remains little known even to people who have lived all their lives in Cambridge.
In 1997 Dr Lucy Joan Slater, a renowned pioneer of computing in Cambridge and enthusiastic genealogist, completed a remarkable listing of all the graves and their inscriptions in the burial ground; she herself was buried there in 2008.
In 2000, Mark Goldie of Churchill College compiled a list of the more famous people buried in the cemetery, along with a brief biography of each person.(A Cambridge Necropolis, Mark Goldie, March 2000)
The former chapel of rest within the burial ground is, as at 2013,the workshop of a letter-cutter.
There is no space in the burial ground for new burials other than in the pre-existing graves of family members. There is an ashes burial plot.
The old parish registers are kept in the Cambridgeshire County Records Office and not in the churches. They have a search service for people who cannot visit to search their archives, but there is a charge for this. The County Records Office holds the records of St. Giles' Church for:
Baptisms -1585-1969, Marriages - 1607-1974, Burials - 1609-1957 and Banns of marriage 1755-1969.
There is a recently formed group of Friends of the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground that aims to protect and enhance the ground for the public benefit as a place of remembrance, spirituality, history and nature. They welcome new members and are happy to answer enquiries about Friends' activities.
There are 6 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war and 1 of the 1939-1945 war here. [text by Geoffrey Gillon]