A Cemetery of 2 acres, with two mortuary chapels, was formed in 1856, at a cost of about £1,600, and in 1884 was enlarged by the addition of 2½ acres, at a cost of £500: it is under the control of a joint committee appointed by the Urban District Council and the Parish Council for Downham West.
Downham Market's Victorian cemetery sits a little to the south of the Anglican parish church, and it is typical of 19th Century civic pride, but on a small scale, like a reflection of the town it once served. Here are the two identical cemetery chapels, one for the Anglicans and one for the non-conformists, and here is the cemetery-keeper's cottage, now a private dwelling. And above all, here are the grand memorials to 19th Century worthies, the aldermen and the factory owners, the solicitors and the bank managers, and their wives and children, their imposing monuments surrounded by iron railings, their ornate and precise inscriptions fading beneath bulging Classical urns and towering Gothic spires.
To the east spread the smaller lichened stone gravemarkers of the lower middle classes: the shopkeepers and the land agents, the chief clerks and the railway officials, huddling together and disappearing into the darkness beneath the trees. And all around, invisible, are the Downham Market poor in their unmarked graves.
There are 16 wargraves in this cemetery plus some interesting epitaphs too.
GPS Coordinates: 52.60237, 0.38195
- Added: 16 Jul 2012
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2457753
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