+ Saint Giles Church, Langford
Tuesday 22nd of August 2017
Picture: A Statue of Saint Giles.

Burials in Langford.

The Churchyard.

The Churchyard is bounded on the west side by The Mill House and a brick wall (belonging to the house), on the north side by an oak split pale fence, which is owned by the Byron Estate who are responsible for any repairs, and on the east and south sides by an oak palisade fence, repairs of which are the responsibility of Maldon District Council. There are double oak-panelled gates at the main entrance in the south side which were provided in 2000 by the Parish Council, and replaced those erected by Rev. E.A.B. Creed. A new painted notice board, approx. 5 x 3 (which replaced the dilapidated one), was erected in the south-east corner of the Churchyard in 2000.

There are a variety of grave markers and tombstones, mostly of the late 18th and 19th Century. There is a large vault and an adjacent railed tombstone to the west of the approach path.

The old church was officially closed on 18th March 1937 except for a few specified burials, as it was full. The cost of repairs and upkeep was then transferred to the Rural District Council (which became Maldon District Council in 1974), although control of the area remains in the hands of the Rector. The closed churchyard was completely re-fenced in the autumn of 1960.

Churchyard Monuments.

There is a Memorial Cross at the south-east corner of the churchyard near the junction of the Witham/Maldon roads. It is an Octagon with a toll column, surmounted with a square capital, bearing a potent cross with an inner circle, standing on a triple plinth. Details of the inscriptions can be found at Grave No. 91 in the table below.

The Memorial was made by Maile & Son, Sculptors, Euston Road, London and erected on June 21st 1919. A Memorial and Dedication Service for the Memorial was taken by the Bishop of Colchester on Sunday June 29th of that year. In June 1925 it was decided that in future the yearly time of remembrance in Langford would be changed from 29th June to the officially recognised Remembrance Day of 11th November.

Graveyard Extension.

The current area for burials is situated immediately across the main road from the Church. It comprises of half an acre, which was conveyed to the Churchyard Authorities by Lord Byron of Langford Hall in 1929. The Deed of Conveyance of the site was signed by the Rector and Churchwardens on July 31st 1929, and work began shortly thereafter on levelling and fencing the land and forming a path down the middle. The piece of land then belonged to the Parish for the purpose of the new churchyard and planting was undertaken. In this connection, the War Memorial Committee decided to make a grant to the Churchyard Fund from the surplus of their fund, after retaining a sum sufficient for the upkeep of the War Memorial Cross.

The new graveyard was consecrated at 3 p.m. on 23rd November 1929 by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, and a report on the consecration appeared in the December issue of the Parish magazine as follows:-

The ceremony for which we have all been preparing and to which we have been looking forward to for so many months has been solemnly performed and the Parish has now a splendid piece of ground added to the Churchyard, consecrated and set aside for the burial of our people by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese. Although heavy rain fell both before and after, the actual ceremony was happily conducted in the brilliant sunshine of the Autumnal afternoon. A fairly numerous congregation was present. For the out-door service, the Bishop, headed by the Churchwardens, was accompanied by the Rural Dean and the Rector and choir and congregation followed him in procession round the New Churchyard, chanting or reciting the appointed Psalms. In the centre of the ground the Petition was presented by Mr. E. Hedge (Churchwarden), after which the Bishop made and signed the declaration of consecration. The procession then entered the Church and after the special lesson and prayers, the Bishop gave an instructive and impressive address on Life and Death. His Lordship laid stress on the fact that, as Christians, we reverently lay the mortal bodies of our dear ones in consecrated resting places, thus doing honour to them, because they have been the temporary tabernacles or temples of the immortal souls, which inhabited them in this life, and which God had called to the higher life with Him in Paradise, to await the re-union of body and soul in the Heaven of the Great Father of all. The collection at the conclusion of the service for the Churchyard Fund amounted to 2 : 6: 3. [C.M. 358 December 1929].

The first burial in the new churchyard was that of William Thomas Bonner (64) on January 30th 1930

Wrought iron gates and brick posts were erected at the Cemetery entrance in January/February 1961. The work was done by Messrs Sayers of Great Totham for the executors of Mrs. F. Wakelin in memory of her and through a legacy left by her for that purpose.

Oak railings were erected in February 2003 to delineate the area for the burial of cremated remains and cast name plaques on this rail give details of those interred. This came from Langford oak, a tree that had come down in the great storm of 1987. It was made up free of charge by Mr. Ted Watson, the current owner of Langford Hall, and a member of the PCC.

A Memorial Bench was set up in the cemetery on 16 September 2001 in memory of Tony Allen by his widow, Irene. Wooden bins for green and other waste in the cemetery were also provided by her in 2003.

Click Here for a full list of burials, with plans, as a pdf file (2,179KB).

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