Local History - burial grounds in Great Malvern and surrounds
Cemeteries and churchyards can provide a window on history and occasionally provide new leads for family historians. Few of us know where our ancestors are buried, so the ability to search on-line for records is highly desirable.
In 2012 there had been few on-line resources listing burials in Great Malvern and surrounding villages, but the situation is rapidly changing. Here are some notes about local burial grounds and initiatives that we have heard of to make more information available on-line.
Burials are firstly recorded on paper in church, cemetery and crematorium registers. Where registers are full or churches have closed the registers may now be with the County Records Office. Remember county names and boundaries have changed over time.
In some areas of the country surveys of monumental inscriptions have been made by local and family history societies and this data made available for purchase on CD. Circa 2000 digital photographic records of gravestones and monuments began to to be created by volunteers, and freely shared on web sites such as the Gravestone Photographic Resource Project, which was started as a private initiative, and Find a Grave which we now believe is a subsidiary of Ancestry.com.
Other volunteers have been contributing photos to the UK Indexer project sponsored by The Genealogist, but you may have to pay to search and view these records for example through your subscription to one of the genealogy web sites.
In a few cases churches and parish councils, such as St Mary Guarlford and Malvern Wells Parish Council, have made burial information available on-line, at no cost.
Some burial records have been consolidated by the Federation of Family History Societies and published on CD as the National Burial Index of England and Wales, but, like other sources, it is patchy and incomplete.
In our opinion Find a Grave, which was revamped in 2017, has the potential to become one of the best web sites for recording and searching for burials world wide. Once you have registered it is easy to add cemeteries, memorials and photographs and provison is made for adding biographical information, and linking children to their parents. You own and can edit the memorials you add, and you can suggest edits to the memorials added by others.
The Gravestone Photographic Resource Project should not however be ignored as you will sometimes find graves that are not on other websites and the Breadcrumb Trail feature can help locate a memorial.
The Priory became a parish church following the dissolution of the monasteries. Burials in vaults in the church ceased in 1851 when an act of Parliament was passed to stop this practice. The churchyard is full and was closed to burials about 1920.
The gravestonephotos.com website lists 100 graves and 206 names; findagrave.com records 49 memorials.
Our web site lists a small number of the headstones in the Priory churchyard.
Great Malvern Victorian Cemetery opened in 1861 and is administered by Malvern Town Council. There are said to be six thousand graves in the Victorian section but only one thousand have memorials and many are in poor condition. The cemetery is still in use and contains in total some fourteen thousand graves.
There is an ongoing project, by volunteers of the Malvern Civic Society, to photograph and record the Victorian monumental inscriptions; a booklet has already been published about a few noteworthy 'residents' and local historian Brian Iles is in the process of writing a comprehensive book about the cemetery and its occupants. We don't know how much of this information will be published on-line, when it might be available, or through what portal.
The findagrave.com website now lists 980 memorials.
The gravestonephotos.com website records 797 memorials and 1,276 names.
Our web site lists photographs of a small number of the headstones in Great Malvern cemetery together with some notes on the Commonwealth War Graves.
The first church was founded in 1846. The gravestonephotos.com website lists 645 graves and 1,048 names; findagrave.com lists 28 memorials.
The gravestonephotos.com website lists 77 graves; findagrave.com records just 4 memorials.
The gravestonephotos.com website lists 278 graves; findagrave.com currently records just 7 memorials.
Water cure Dr Ralph Barnes Grindrod latterly of Townshend House in College Road is buried there.
We have added Malvern Wells Cemetery in Green Lane to the findagrave.com web site. It is a quiet peaceful cemetery and Mary Dixey who co-authored the history of Lawnside school is buried there. Click to read our story about the Dixey family.
Unlike Great Malvern, nothing seems to have been written about the history of Malvern Wells cemetery; can you tell us when it was opened?
The churchyard is still open but almost full. The first burial was in 1845, and the register records about one thousand one hundred burials. Many of the older grave markers have been lost and some of the older plots may have been reused.
A survey of monumental inscriptions was made about 1990 and a list of names and inscriptions can be found on the Guarlford website. The Guarlford History Group is in the process of copying these to the findagrave.com web site, and a copy of the inscriptions is also held by the Malvern Family History Society.
The first church was built near Madresfield Court circa 1200 but the present building dates from 1867 and the present churchyard possibly from 1857.
The first burial in the register, which is still in use, is dated 1813.
Some information is held on the findagrave.com website which lists 106 memorials.
The present chapel dates from 1864, replacing a much older building. Its burial ground lies a few hundred yards to the east.
The current burial register starts in 1966 and the earlier registers are now held by the Worcester Records Office.
Photographs of Newland churchyard and a small number of the headstones can be found on our website.
We have added the Newland burial ground to the findagrave.com website and added the grave of nurse Ethel Mary Lewis RRC.
Thomas Charles Santler of Malvern Link, an early inventor of the motor car, is said to be buried here. He died on 3rd October 1940 when the MECO works at St John's, Worcester was bombed. Click to read about the Santler motor car on Wikipedia
The ancient church of St Peter at Powick is largely hidden from the road, so missed by most motorists driving by. The original building, dating from about 1200, has been greatly modified over the years. There is a large churchyard with plenty of space remaining for new burials.
The gravestonephotos.com web site records 352 graves; the findagrave.com web site lists 386 memorials.
There are some interesting memorials in the church, but no in depth historical information seems to have been published about the church.
St Gabriels is located near Hanley Swan cross roads. The findagrave.com website lists 57 memorials.
St Mary's is an ancient church. There are some records in Worcester Records Office. The gravestonephotos.com website lists 157 graves; findagrave.com records 18 memorials.
The churchyard of Our Lady and St Alphonsus is still in use. There are many burials of which the findagrave.com website lists 43 memorials.
We have yet to visit this church where the composer Edward Elgar is buried. It is suggested you contact the priest in charge at the church or Worcester Records Office for further information.
Findagrave.com records 4 memorials.
The gravestonephotos.com web site records 91graves, while findagrave.com records only 5 memorials.
You will find St James church situated at the cross roads in Welland, but the burial ground is hidden away half a mile or so east off Marlbank Road.
From the church follow Marlbank Road past the village hall and the primary school, until you spot the new lychgate at the entrance to the burial ground on your right. A survey of the memorials and a map of the burial ground can be found in St James church.
St Gregory's at Castlemorton is an ancient church, restored about 1880. To find it continue from Welland, past the Robin Hood pub and take the turning to your left into Church Road and proceed a fair way down before finding the church on your right. It's off the main road so few people will probably have been there - we have not visited it yet.
OS Grid Ref: SO794372
St Gregory's is one of four churches in the benefice of Longdon, Queenhill, Bushley and Castlemorton.
Surprisingly the burials in this remote churchyard are well documented and the gravestonephotos.com website lists 468 graves, while findagrave.com currently records only 3 memorials.
If you are able to correct or add to the list of local burial grounds on this page please get in touch by contacting the webmaster
Last updated 6th April 2018