Closed churchyard

The Churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Claverton, was closed by Order in Council made on the 18th November 1985, becoming operative on 12th February 1986.

It is unclear when (or whether) the Parochial Church Council transferred responsibility for maintenance of the churchyard to their Parish Council and on to (then) Wansdyke Council. However, Wansdyke Council commenced a programme of making a grant towards the maintenance of the churchyard which Bath and North East Somerset has continued.


Maintenance of grounds

Bereavement Services has a close working relationship with the Parochial Church Council and provides grass cutting equipment, which it keeps regularly serviced, to enable church volunteers to carry out maintenance during the mowing season.

The benefits of this type of relationship for both the council and the church are many. The biggest advantage is obviously that volunteers are able to devote more time to the churchyard than is available to the council's Closed Cemeteries team (conscientious and proud of their work though they are) e.g. volunteers frequently cut the grass weekly and are able to take advantage of spells of dry weather whereas each closed burial ground can only be visited fortnightly by the cemeteries team - weather permitting. Another advantage is that church volunteers are able to provide early warning of anything needing attention beyond the scope of their abilities e.g. a tree dying.

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 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.  

There are six listed grade 11 historic memorials (with the south wall bordering the kitchen garden of the former Claverton Manor also listed):

  • William Clapham - chest tomb
  • Ralph Allen- mausoleum
  • Thomas Bridgman - chest tomb
  • Charmbury family - chest tomb
  • Eckersall family - monument
  • Susanna Cole - chest tomb


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