Author Topic: Chest tomb query  (Read 282 times)

Offline Top-of-the-hill

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Chest tomb query
« on: Wednesday 17 November 21 23:15 GMT (UK) »
   In a graveyard near here is a chest tomb with the names of an entire large family engraved on it, father, mother and 10 children, who all died in the first half of the 1800s. It occurred to me recently to wonder where they were actually buried. A printed list of the churchyard memorials calls it an altar tomb enclosed with iron railings. The railings are now gone, but I cannot imagine that they surrounded an area large enough for all those graves. Any thoughts please?
Pay, Kent
Codham/Coltham, Kent
Kent, Felton, Essex
Staples, Wiltshire

Offline Chris Doran

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Re: Chest tomb query
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 18 November 21 02:16 GMT (UK) »
I came across a photo of the end of an altar tomb which said: "Steps this end", presumably leading to a vault. This might cover a wide area and be deep enough for regular depth burials above. A vault in a local churchyard collapsed about 100 years ago and if I remember the press report correctly, gravestones above fell in.

Also, there were shaft tombs (maybe not the correct term), brick lined and dug deep enough for upwards of a dozen coffins on top of one another.

Finally, the major bones might have been exhumed and moved to the crypt or a charnel pit from time to time. It's the only way the thousands of burials recorded in registers of old churches with small churchyards could have been accommodated.
Researching Penge, Anerley, (incuding the Crystal Palace) and neighbouring parts of Beckenham, currently in London (Bromley), formerly Surrey and/or Kent.

Offline Top-of-the-hill

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Re: Chest tomb query
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 18 November 21 09:37 GMT (UK) »
  Thanks Chris, I did wonder about a vault, but I didn't know they were made in churchyards rather than under the building. I guess there would be something in the church records.
Pay, Kent
Codham/Coltham, Kent
Kent, Felton, Essex
Staples, Wiltshire


Online Viktoria

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Re: Chest tomb query
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 18 November 21 10:12 GMT (UK) »
Oh yes, in church graveyards and public cemeteries too.
Story coming up——- attending a funeral in Belgium we lost the main cortege
 in heavy traffic after a slight delay and ended up at the wrong funeral.
There was a vault ,we went down the steps and there were stone shelves
where coffins were ,the remnants of red velvet and brass studs etc.still
visible .It was not pleasant.
We were there to represent the English community of Gent, the lady attended the Anglican Church there ,she lived in another town - Ronse.
We made our exit as tactfully as possible ,the relatives of the person whose funeral  we has mistakenly followed must have wondered who we were.
The vault was private to that family .

When we got back to our car ,we were so shaken we laughed ,not that we thought it funny but it was a reaction to the horror of that vault , we did not see anything really - well avoided looking -but some coffins were at disintegration point!
Ugh!
An indecisive member of the congregation at the funeral we were really attending delayed our joining the cortège ,would she go to the interment or not —- we joined the first funeral we saw after leaving the church , meanwhile the hearse and cars had moved off ,and we joined the wrong funeral!
Viktoria.