Churchyard Survey

 

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Following Maisemore Local History Society's inception in 1998, a Working Group has carried out a Survey of memorials in the churchyard of St Giles, Maisemore. The condition of many of these is deteriorating rapidly, and some may soon vanish from legibility. This made the task important and urgent.

The Working Group has been assisted by many people, especially Dennis Cambridge, stonemason of Gloucester. Financial support has been received from the Parish Council, from Gloucestershire Rural Community Council, and from the Parochial Church Council. Their help is warmly acknowledged.

With more than three hundred tombstones in the Churchyard, the task facing the Working Party was no easy one. Older stones were often seriously damaged by weathering and their inscriptions defaced by lichen and ivy growth.

The first need was a site survey, which was the more necessary because the older stones were seldom in regular lines. Regular team meetings in the Churchyard followed, with each member taking responsibility for a few memorials each time. Some were easy, some difficult, but the precise descriptions, measurements, and inscriptions were then recorded - and where there were spelling or other oddities then these were faithfully retained. The chance of error was reduced by double-checking by another member. Dennis Cambridge, a professional stonemason, then confirmed the material of every stone. To complement all this work, photographs of every memorial were taken, sometimes from several angles and often requiring special light conditions.

The Survey is contained in three volumes. Copies are deposited with Maisemore Parish Council, with Gloucestershire County Record Office, and with Maisemore Parochial Church Council.