Harptree Cemetery which is situated on the outskirts of East Harptree on the road to West Harptree opened in 1884. It does not have vehicular access, but there is an adjacent and pedestrian access via a gate from the layby or a lychgate further along the road.
Working together the local councils of Bishop Sutton, East and West Harptrees have acquired land from the Duchy of Cornwall to form an extension for the cemetery, in agreement with Bath and North East Somerset which will take on its maintenance in line with the programme for the existing site.
The extension will ensure that the needs of the three parishes can be met for many years to come.
This small country cemetery was opened when the nearby churchyards of East Harptree, West Harptree and Bishop Sutton reached their maximum capacity and were closed by Order in Council. It was originally administered by the local Parish Councils for the benefit of their residents. It later came under the auspices of Wansdyke District Council and was thus inherited by Bath and North East Somerset Council at its formation in 1996.
Bereavement Services is working to ensure that its records and management are updated in line with best practice and current legislation.
Maintenance of grounds
The maintenance regime in place at present is to cut all churchyards fortnightly (weather permitting). All pruning, hedge cutting, etc., is carried out as winter works after the grass cutting season has ended. However if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact the main office.
The council's arboricultural office keeps the trees under a 3 yearly review and agrees minor works with the volunteers. All major tree works are carried out by the council's tree specialists
Bereavement Services carries out a 5 year rolling programme of memorial testing to ensure that memorials are preserved as well as possible. The council does not have the right to restore memorials, but it does have the responsibility to make the cemetery a reasonably safe place to visit which enables it to lay down any memorials in danger of falling. Safety in cemeteries and churchyards has improved so much since such programmes were introduced, that now the main benefit from testing is to ensure that memorials are not left to rot until they fall smashing themselves, or neighbouring memorials, or both, in the process.