The grounds as a garden

The Burial Ground

Originally burials were confined to the southern part of the  site adjoining the road.  The Burial  Ground was extended northwards in 1821 over land that had previously been let
for grazing.  The earliest burials were  unmarked, but later burials have the characteristic Quaker headstones – small,  round-topped and bearing only the most basic information.  The rows of headstones are marked by letters  set in the Burial Ground walls.

One view of our grounds (c) hoylefoto@gmail.com

The walls are also Grade II listed.  There  are drainage problems: records of these problems and early drains date from  eighteenth century and in the boundary wall is an arch which spanned those  drains.  Eventually poor drainage forced  the end of burials in 1980; but the site continues in use for the scattering and interment of ashes.

The older part of the burial ground includes headstones for  the Hoare and Barclay families, both involved in banking.  Samuel Hoare junior (1751-1825) was a leading supporter of the campaign for the abolition of the slave trade.  In the newer part there are stones  commemorating Luke Howard (a pioneering meteorologist, responsible for the system for classifying clouds) and his wife, and Alice Hum (founder of the  Palmers Green Girls High School).  A stone commemorating the prominent 18th century Quaker physician, John  Fothergill, has been removed to the Quaker School at Ackworth which he founded.

Ecology

Historic Winchmore Hill Cedar (c) hoylefoto@gmail.com

The burial ground is home to a rich variety  of plant and animal life.  There are frogs, toads, a family of foxes and a breeding colony of stag beetles.  Among the many mature trees there are unique  species.  Dominant is the 25 metre high  Cedar from North Africa (Cedrus Atlanticus) believed to have been planted  around 1850.

This brief history and guide is based on A History of  Quakerism at Winchmore Hill by David Olver (2002).  A small number of copies remain available for  sale.

Graham Dalling, December 2011 (slightly tweaked for web)

To come:

Download this leaflet