Bramshott Churchyard

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HCC Site ID: 1869 Parish: Bramshott & Liphook
Designations: Memorial Crosses LB II Area: c2.02 ha
Access: Public Access Ownership: Parochial Parish Council

Location and site

Bramshott Churchyard occupies just over two hectares (five acres) of ground to the west of the Church of St Mary in the old part of the village of Bramshott.  In 1220, the Church had been established to serve the local community which had grown up on heathland to the south of Hindhead around a sandy track that became the London to Portsmouth Road, now the A3 (Smith 2011 online).  The Church and Churchyard are north of the Road with the larger settlement of Liphook south of it.  The Churchyard is situated above the River Wey’s raised terrace on gently sloping land with views to Woolmer Forest a mile or so to the west.

Historic Development

The original chancel of St Mary’s Church was built as a private chapel for Bramshott Manor to the south west of the Church (Symonds 1998 online).  By the end of the 19th century the present Church’s nave had been built with footpaths around the Church and a graveyard established to the west of it (OS map 1869).  A footpath from the Church and graveyard ran immediately west of the Manor, then a farm.   In1908, the graveyard had been extended westwards and the footpath diverted in that direction (HRO 57M75/PB5).  In 1917, a further extension took place for local victims of the 1914-18 war.  A year later, it also provided burial ground for the 318 Canadian soldiers who had died as a result of the unexpected 1918 Spanish flu epidemic.  They had been billeted at a Canadian Training Centre that had occupied both sides of the Portsmouth Road (CWGC 2012 online).  In 1920, a War Memorial Cross designed by Inigo Triggs, a local architect and garden designer, was erected immediately to the west of the Church, and dedicated to honour the local dead of Bramshott and Liphook (EH 1392394 online).   The first burials of the Canadians were also placed in part of the old Churchyard.   The rest were accommodated in the new extension, designed by Triggs (RIBA 1923, 481; Waymark ODNB online; Ottewill 1989, 178).  A wall was built between the Manor ground and the new burial ground.  Just west of the wall and parallel to it, is the footpath, and beyond this a War Memorial Cross, designed by Reginald Blomfield, that occupies a central position with four rows of gravestones extending north and south of it.  In 1916, the War Department was involved in contributing to the cost of the extension of the Churchyard and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission provided the gravestones and Canadian Cross which was dedicated in April 1921 (HRO 57M75/PB6: LBP 2011 online).  During the 1920s and 1930s posies were placed on each grave on Canada Day, July 1st (LBP 2011 online).  Additional names were added to the Triggs Cross at the end of World War II ( EH 1392394 online).

Current Description

The World Wars Memorial Cross, the Canadian Memorial Cross and graves remain much as they were first put in place.  West of the line of Canadian gravestones, a number of trees provide a break between them and the local burial ground.  Low growing heathers are grown in front of each gravestone.  The Churchyard is well-maintained by the Parish Parochial Council with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission providing the maintenance for the Canadian Cemetery (pers.com.2012).

Summary

Bramshott Churchyard is a burial ground associated with a 13th century Church that was remodelled in the 19th century. In 1917, the Churchyard was extended to provide additional burial capacity for World War I victims, and a year later, accommodated 318 Canadian soldiers who were billeted locally, and died from the Spanish flu epidemic.  The extension was designed by Inigo Triggs and the Canadian Memorial Cross by Reginald Blomfield.  Triggs designed the War Memorial Cross, located by the Church that commemorates local men who lost their lives during the two World Wars.
HGT Research:  February 2012

References

Hampshire Record Office
57M75/PB5     Acquiring of additional land for the Churchyard       1908-09
57M75/PB6     Correspondence and papers relating to the burial of soldiers from Bramshott Camp in the churchyard and the purchase of land from Mr R.J. Bird as an addition to the churchyard      1916-17
Books
Ottewill, D., 1989, The Edwardian Garden, Yale University
Maps – from Hampshire County Council dataset
1869                1st ed. 25” OS
Other sources
RIBA Journal  vol. 30, 12 May 1923 p. 481
pers.com. email from the Liphook Church Office to JB, 31 January 2012
Electronic sources
CWGC Commonwealth War Graves Commission
http://www.greatwar.co.uk/organizations/commonwealth-war-graves-commission.htm  [accessed 10 February 2011].
http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Hampshire/Bramshott.html [accessed 31 January 2012].
EH       English Heritage listings of the War Memorials
http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ [accessed 9 February 2012]
LBP – Liphook & Bramshott Parish
http://www.liphookchurch.co.uk/pictures/canadian-graves?size=_original
Smith, J. O., 1995, from ‘Some Ancient Churches in North East Hampshire’    http://www.johnowensmith.co.uk/churches/bramshoi.htm [accessed 10 February    2011]
Symonds, J., 1998 ‘23. St Mary-the-Virgin, Bramshott’, St George’s News, Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine online edition http://www.stgeorgesnews.org/1998/09f04.htm [accessed 10 February 2011]
Waymark, J., 2004-11 Inigo Triggs [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/46394             [accessed 10 February 2011]


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