Aireborough Historical Society

Baptist Burial Ground 2015




Title
Baptist Burial Ground
Date 2015
Location Rawdon
Photo ID
W442
Comment

The burial ground in Cragg Wood is now a scheduled Ancient Monument Grade 11 due to its historical importance to the local Baptist movement.

Both the burial ground and the building which stands in place of the original chapel have been fully restored and are now in the care of Ruth Ashton-Ward / Alan Ward and are encompassed within their garden at Cattleye , built on the site of Mansell & Hatcher's old orchid nursery.

Both remain open for the public to view given reasonable notice.

Donated by Ruth Ashton- Ward

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September 2015:   Members of Rawdon Trinity Church gathered at the burial ground in Cragg Wood to attend a service in memory of those who fought against persecution and prejudice for the right of religious freedom, the dissenters of old had to worship in secret.

The Baptists had built their first chapel in Cragg Wood in 1712 or 1715.

    In 1912 the chapel was no longer in use, having been replaced by larger premises in a more open site on Micklefield Lane, this chapel was rebuilt twice to accommodate larger congregations.

The burial ground had become neglected and overgrown, it was given a new wall, tombs restored and the ground cleared, this was celebrated by a service of rededication on what was thought to be the 100th anniversary of the initial building.

     Once again the site has been restored and is kept in good condition as part of an agreement when a small development was allowed in the vicinity on the site previously used as an orchid nursery.

Since then a service has been held annually, 2015 marked the 300 years since the first building (the exact year is unknown), a heritage displayed showed various old photos and documents including a leaflet which gives the order of service for the 1912 re-dedication.

One of the 2015 images was taken in the same position as a 1912 photo and gives an appealing "then and now" aspect.

Donated by Ruth Ashton-Ward

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