The Old Cemetery
Since 2007, Stowmarket Town Council has managed the Old Cemetery, Bury Road as an area for wildlife. It is managed to encourage the growth of wildflowers and attract a range of insects, small mammals and birds.
The cemetery dates back to the middle of the 19th Century, with the first burial taking place in August 1855. The cemetery was laid out in a way to create eight distinct areas for burials, four of which are on consecrated land and four on un-consecrated land. In addition, two small chapels are contained within the site. These beautiful buildings were used to hold the funerals of those which are buried within the cemetery.
The last internment took place in 1901 and it was at that point that the Old Cemetery was closed for burials. The cemetery is the final resting place of a number of the victims of the Gun Cotton Explosion and, in 2013, plaque was installed to act as a permanent memorial to the victims.
The Old Cemetery contains an ashes plot which is still in use, managed along more formal lines and work is currently being undertaken to demarcate the two distinct areas within the cemetery.
For the majority of the site, the grassland is being managed in a way to reduce the fertility of the soil in order to encourage the growth of wild flowers, this forms part of the long term plan as it will take around 20 years before any major changes are seen. It is extremely encouraging that over the past few years the variety and number of wild flowers has significantly increased.
A number of bird boxes have been installed throughout the cemetery and these have been well-used over the past few years. A great variety of bird life can be found on the site.
The Old Cemetery is a charming place, a calm oasis in the middle of a busy built up area and the Town Council is determined to ensure that steps are taken to preserve and enhance this very special site.
The New Cemetery
The New Cemetery on Violet Hill Road dates back to the early 1900s and is where new burials take place.
For all burial and memorial enquires or to search for a grave space please contact Sarah Parramint, Corporate Support Officer at Stowmarket Town Council, Milton House, Milton Road South, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 1EZ. Tel: 01449 612060 or email: Sarahp@stowmarket.org