GRAVEYARD DEVELOPMENT AND MAP


The original Churchyard, the area immediately surrounding the church, 0.35 acres in extent, was probably in use as the Parish Burial Ground by 1000 A.D. It served the needs of the parish until 1854 when the first extension of the churchyard took place round the North and West sides of the original ground.  These areas together are  today known as the 'Old Graveyard', and pre-dated Farnborough becoming an independant parish.

At that time the land that today forms the main graveyard was still part of the Lubbock estate.  But once Farnborough became a full parish in 1885 an arrangement was made to purchase land from the Lubbock family to extend the graveyard. 



The plan above shows what is now part of the main graveyard before purchase, and to the right is the cover page from the purchase petition. Both are dated 1885.  

This map is undated but shows the same area once it was brought fully into use.. It includes features added in 1909, but does not show the war memorial, which was constructed in 1922. It clearly shows the original layout of graves in the churchyard.

  The pressure for space subsequently led to most of the north-south oriented pathways being abandoned and the space used for further burials. This explains the somewhat disjointed grave numbering pattern in that part of the graveyard.

Note the intricate interweaving of adult and child graves, showing that child mortality at the beginning of the last century was far higher than now.  

Many child graves never had memorial headstones erected, so these areas today mainly form small clearings between the many surviving memorial headstones in adult graves. However it would also seem that some at least of these areas reserved for child graves never in fact got used.

Further areas were added to the churchyard in 1935 and 1995 by purchase from Bromley Council, who now owned the adjacent Common. These are shown in this modern map, which also shows the original position of the churchyard entrance - this changed when the level of the road was lowered.. 


Churchyard Map, click to enlarge

Burial Registers and Grave Registers

From 1538 the names of people buried in the Churchyard, have been recorded in a Burial Register, but it is only since 1885 that a Grave Register has been kept, which records where a person is buried.

Burial registers prior to 1990 are now archived in Bromley Local Studies Library.  Grave Registers are still active documents so are located in the Church.

Old Graveyard

The original area plus its 1854 extension are known today as the 'Old Graveyard'. It is thought that it ceased to be used routinely for new graves from 1885, but further burials in existing graves continued until the Second World War and, very occasionally, even today.



Kent Archaeology Society publish a map of the Old Graveyard, together with a list of graves and burials dated 1919.  These were integrated into the St. Giles records during 2012.

New Graveyard

The first part of the additional land purchased from the Lubbock estate in 1885 was brought into use soon after.  However the part of this area immediately to the south of the church, an area that had been used for chalk extraction, was not brought into use until about 1925, after it had been filled in and levelled.

Further extensions to the New Graveyard took place in 1935, and again in 1995, into land from the adjacent Common. The 1995 extension is still used today for digging new graves.

The 1935 extension The 1995 extension (in use today)
 
Burials in the New Graveyard are documented in three volumes of 'Grave Registers', which can be inspected by appointment with the Parish Office.