There is almost no visible trace of the 480+ graves onsite, save for Benjamin Biddlecombe's tomb and the 52 displaced headstones tucked in the rear corner of the site.
Using our award from the National Lottery Heritage fund we will install interpretation panels in the graveyard to explain the heritage.
EBCS's website will provide more detailed information to supplement these.
Burial Register 1837 - 1894
Hampshire Records Office in Winchester holds the East Boldre Baptist Church burial records from 1837 - 1894. Of burials before and after these dates we have little info but there is evidence (headstones and a schedule of burial charges from 1826) to suggest burials may have started as early as 1823 and continued until 1939.
We have transcribed the burial records into an Excel spreadsheet and from this have produced a file listing all of the recorded burials at the chapel.
Gravestone Inscription Recording
Our first Big Help Out included the clearing of brambles and ivy from around the headstones and we uncovered 52 headstones remaining on site.
As part of the Chapel Story project we have secured a National Lottery Heritage Grant to cover the costs of recording all of the remaining gravestones on site using a variety of imaging techniques. We aim to make a legible record of all of their inscriptions. A team of archaeological imaging experts will lead this work and teach local people how modern techniques can reveal and capture the eroded inscriptions.
54 gravestones were removed to the rear boundary of the chapel site prior to the hall being built in the early 1990s. The numbered plan below shows their original positions but unfortunately the church lost the list linking the numbers to individuals .
Our research has since uncovered the original positions of some headstones in letters written to the Home Office to get permission to build the hall in the graveyard and are shown below.