In 1956, when cremation started to become an acceptable alternative to interment, it was decided at St. Giles to provide a walled rose garden where ashes could be scattered and small metal plaques inserted into the ground. There were also facilities for placing stone engraved slabs on the wall.

Garden and Walls of Remembrance

Regulations later came in which forbade the scattering of ashes, and from this developed the need to have ashes buried. So, in 1978, a lawn was laid and two side walls built with stone plaques fixed to them. The location of ashes buried in the lawn was carefully logged so that subsequent family burials could be made in the same location.

In 1990, when the walls were fully covered with plaques, the lawn was fronted with a pathway to the west side, where more plaques could be laid at ground level.

Cremations continued to increase in popularity, and in 1998, when all the space on the two paths had been occupied, arrangements were made with Francis Chappell & Sons to build a ‘Wall of Remembrance’ where more stone plaques could be secured. The wall also afforded a screen to the chain-linked boundary with the adjoining woodland.

The original Wall is now known as 'Phase 1', as it was later extended (Phase 2).  The Garden and Walls are shown in the photographs below.


'New' Garden of Remembrance

When the second wall was in turn becoming full, it was decided to perpare a brand new Garden, adjacent to the first on its east side. This has been used for all new burials of ashes since the beginning of 2012. The new Garden is backed by a further new Wall of Remembrance, known as Phase 3.

In 2015 a lower level wall was created around the side and front of this section of the 'new' garden, and this has now been brought into use.  However it was recognised that this would only provide limited extra space, so attention turned back to developing the walls around the Old Garden.

Recent  Development of the 'Old' Garden

The first stage was to survey and map the names on and locations of the previously undocumented plaques, so they could be removed to store when necessary, and then replaced at the same relative positions.

Then in 2016 a new wall was created along the west side of the garden where the original ground level plaques had been.  The two faces of the new wall have space for approx. 550 plaques when the need arises. This will be sufficient for a further ten years on so of usage. The pre-existing plaques from the west side of the garden have been replaced on top of the new structures. A small new garden will be prepared on the west (graveyard) side of the wall when required, for the burial of ashes associated with those who are remembered by new plaques to that side of the wall.

The garden plus the new wall are shown in these photos - contrast these with those above.


The final part of the redevelopment, currently under consideration, is to rebuild the original walls round the north, south and east side of the garden, as these lack foundations, and are in a considerable state of disrepair. Depending on the design chosen, further plaque space may be created during this work. Again the plaques currently on these walls will be temporarily removed to store, so that they can be replaced in their original positions.