In the past 3 years we have continued the work begun several years ago to transcribe the graves in the old churchyard.
This is very much a “work in progress” but we have had many requests about graves and felt it useful to publish our work so far on the web site.
It is a large area containing around 2000 gravestones. Of these we have now transcribed about 1400 and these transcriptions are to be found on the accompanying PDF. About 600 of these transcriptions were completed several years ago under the guidance of Ken Stott but the work ceased with his death in 2003.
There are three adjacent churchyards at Heptonstall. The oldest is around the Old Church and graves here date back to about 1600, the second part around the New Church with graves dating back to about 1830. The third and newer churchyard is across Back Lane and was opened in 1911. There are some post 1911 graves and inscriptions still to be found in the old churchyard, especially where there were multiple plots. As yet no transcriptions have been made in the New Graveyard.
We have used Ken’s plans of the churchyard and in the main kept to his sectioning ideas. Some changes have been made to the numbering and on this PDF you will find a map of the churchyard and grids of the graves in the various sections so far completed. If there are transcriptions but no grid, it is an area we have yet to check.
In the case of section C, we have used Ken’s rough grid, we yet need to transcribe the gravestones. These are some of the oldest stones in the churchyard and many are very difficult to decipher. Many of the earlier gravestones only have initials and dates as identification and researchers may need to consult the parish registers to indentify relevant graves.
The sections behind the old church, K – R are fairly difficult to access, there are a fair number of trees and bushes to negotiate and many of the graves look as if they may have been re-laid. Many of these gravestones are earlier ones from the 16thC.
There are still some anomalies; the graves are rarely in straight rows, so the plans only give a rough idea of the positioning of the stones. It is usually best to count from the first grave of each row. In some cases, the rows may be indicated by the name on the first stone of the row, the method used by Ken Stott’s group.
If in doubt, please contact us via the Hebden Bridge Local History Society web site.
Barbara Atack, May 2013.
The group runs a popular programme of workshops and drop-in sessions at the Birchcliffe Centre
Upper Calderdale's suitability for the preservation of local cultural tradition is nowhere shown as strongly as in its wealth of folk tales about places, many of which are still being passed on by word of mouth.
For some years now a small group of friends has been exploring the evidence for prehistoric activity in the South Pennines.