West Hill Cemetery Guided TourBook now
Friday 14 September
West Hill Cemetery, St James Lane, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NX
West Hill Cemetery opened in 1840 and for three quarters of a century was the main burial place in Winchester. These guided tours will reveal the fascinating history of the cemetery and some of the notable people buried there, including two holders of the Victoria Cross, the author of a famous hymn, sportsmen and mayors of the city.
West Hill Cemetery opened in 1840 as a private company and closed for new burials (except for where plots had already been purchased) in the 1950s. It provided for consecrated (Anglican) and unconsecrated (non-conformist) burials and, from the mid-1850s until the opening of the cemetery on Morn Hill in 1914, it was one of very few places where burials regularly took place in the city. It holds around 22,000 burials, with only a fraction memorialised today.
Since 2016, staff and students at the University of Winchester have been undertaking a project researching the history of the Cemetery. To date, the project has photographed and transcribed all the gravestones and created a walk highlighting significant ones. Work is currently underway to digitise all the records of the burial company, create a memorial for the military graves (there are around 150 of them, including two Victoria Cross holders) and undertake non-intrusive radar work.
Two guided tours led by academics involved in the research project will take visitors around the cemetery to reveal the history of the site and tell the stories of some of the notable people buried there.
Please note that the tours take place outside and will cover uneven and possibly muddy ground. Appropriate footwear must be worn. For this reason, these tours are not suitable for people with mobility issues. If the weather is very bad, the tours may be cancelled.
This event is part of the Heritage Open Days, for more information about Heritage Open Days and other events, visit: www.winchesterheritageopendays.org
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