Holy Trinity Churchyard
Photo added by Ruthie Eckert Cacchione

Holy Trinity Churchyard

Kingston upon Hull, Kingston upon Hull Unitary Authority , East Riding of Yorkshire, England


  • Get directions Market Place
    Kingston upon Hull, Kingston upon Hull Unitary Authority, East Riding of Yorkshire, HU1 1RR England
  • Cemetery ID: 2292258

The Holy Trinity Church is an Anglican parish church in the centre of Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The church dates back to about 1300 and contains what is widely acknowledged to be some of the finest mediaeval brick-work in the country. The Church is one of nineteen members of the Greater Churches Group. This awe-inspiring building appears in the Guinness Book of Records as England's largest parish church (by area). William Wilberforce, who led the parliamentary campaign against the slave trade, was baptized in Holy Trinity Church. Holy Trinity Church is now a Grade I listed building.

Holy Trinity Churchyard has a complex history, typical for an ancient church where a heavily urbanized area has grown up around it. The consecration of a cemetery at Holy Trinity is mentioned in historical documents from 1301. In 1320, the Churchyard was extended westward when King Edward granted a vacant piece of ground to be used for this purpose. Early burials, especially those for ordinary folk, no doubt took place in the churchyard surrounding the Holy Trinity building. However, graves, crypts and tombs, presumably for extraordinary folk, are also located inside the Church building proper.

As the population of the surrounding urban areas increased during the 17th and 18th centuries, the Holy Trinity Churchyard literally ran out of space. George Milner graphically highlighted the dire need for additional burial grounds in 1847 when he wrote the following: " ... the plot altogether, including the site of the Church, only contains about 5,040 square yards, and has ever since been used as a place of internment for this Parish. It is crowded everywhere with bones and coffins, some of the latter within a foot of the surface ... it is raised two or three feet above the level of the adjoining street by internments ... Holy Trinity is situated in the Market-place, and entirely surrounded by dwellings – at the west, a row of houses overlooks the ground, and in summer months, offensive smells are complained of." (from "Cemetery Burial; or Sepulture, Ancient And Modern" 1847, 2nd edition, by George Milner, p ix).

An act of Parliament was passed in 1783 to allow trustees to collect a tax from the citizens of the parish and purchase an additional burial ground. The new burial ground was ordered to be 2 to 3 acres in size, and the taxes collected were to total of £1500, about £186000 in today's currency (see "A Collection of Statutes relating to the Town of Kingston-Upon-Hull by William Woolley, 1830, p 3). This new burial ground would eventually become known as the Castle Street Cemetery, and was quite likely the site for most burials recorded in the Holy Trinity Church burial register over the period 1783-1861. The Churchyard immediately surrounding the Holy Trinity Church was formally closed to additional burials in 1855. It is not clear how many burials took place in the Churchyard in the years after the Castle Street Cemetery was opened. However, George Milner's description from 1847 suggests that the Churchyard was still in active use. A third burial ground associated with the Holy Trinity Church was opened near Hessle Road in 1861 and is now known as the Division Road Cemetery. This cemetery was used until 1898. After that time, various non-parochial cemeteries elsewhere in the city were used for burials of the Holy Trinity parishioners.

Original Holy Trinity parish burial registers (1554-1952) have been deposited with the East Riding Archives (The Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley HU17 9BQ). A record of the Churchyard monuments was made in the 1860s and this transcript is available from the East Yorkshire Family History Society (Carnegie Heritage Centre, 342 Anlaby Road, Kingston upon Hull, HU3 6JA). These monuments were removed long ago and the original Churchyard is now covered with paving stones. Memorial inscriptions also decorate the interior Church walls and floors. Transcripts of these are available on the parish website.



  • Added: 3 Feb 2009
  • Find a Grave Cemetery ID: 2292258