A bit of family history, well someone’s family history, at least.
On my way back from Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway station, I passed the overgrown St Peters Graveyard in Bishopton. Having plenty of time I thought I would mooch about. There were several memorials in varying states of legibility and collapse. The church itself has been demolished and the land redeveloped as part of a massive housing estate, which includes some very exclusive residences, but this forgotten, sacred plot remains.
Among the memorials was the collapsed headstone for one Clara Louisa Keyte. I thought there would be few souls of that name and resolved to find out whether anyone was researching her family.
A quick search on Ancestry found Clara Louisa in the censuses and two public trees, so she has not been forgotten entirely.
In 1911, she and her husband James Walter Keyte, farmer, lived at Bishopton Hill (north of the map), a short distance from the church, and about 1 kilometre due east of Wilmcote, famed these days for the tourist attraction that is Mary Arden’s Farm.
Here is the layout from the 1880s.
To orientate: the road in the north east is Birmingham Road (A3400) and Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway Station is where the railway leaves the west of the map. There is a Bishopton House today. The tree-lined The Avenue remains also – you need a pretty penny to own property there!
I will add this memorial and some of the other legible ones to Find a Grave and tip off the owners of the public trees on Ancestry, just in case they are interested. I don’t understand why people keep their trees private – why do they not leave the door open for people who might be able to help?
3 thoughts on “Gone, but (not quite) forgotten”
A few residents are now working on the conservation of this graveyard and would like to find families who have graves here in order to have the permission to tidy and maintain the graves.
I have very recently found some information that leads me to believe a distant relative, WILLIAM CATTELL, a corn dealer of Sheep Street, Stratford upon Avon, who died in Stratford on 23rd October, 1862, aged 87 years, MAY be buried in St Peter’s Churchyard.
I have seen documentary evidence that he left money in his will for a brick built coffin and presume there would have been a headstone, although this , if it has survived, may well be illegible.
I plan to try and visit the site, but as I don’t drive, am looking at possible walking routes, perhaps from parkway station??
Any help you can give me, on the grave, or a walking route, would be greatly appreciated.
Exit Parkway Station via Pay & Display car park. At road cross road and go right. The Avenue, a footpath-cycleway, is a few yards on the left. The old burial ground is a short distance on the left. When I visited it was marked by a large wooden sign. Best wishes, Andrew.