There are two Burial Grounds within our Area Meeting. One here at Spiceland and one at Milverton. Information about each burial ground can be found on the following links:
Spiceland’s Old Burial Ground
Quakers began to use their burial place after purchase of the land in 1679. The first known burial is that of George Russell a woolcomber of Burlescombe who died in prison in Exeter in 1681/2, aged over 80. We have burial records for three of the original trustees, James Taylor of Holcombe Rogus ( d 1692, imprisoned 1684), Robert Chubb of Churchstanton (d 1693), William Rawlins of Uffculme (d 1700, imprisoned 1684) and also Robert Ford of Halberton (d 1702 who bought the land and who was imprisoned in 1683). As far as we know there are about 600 burials in the period from 1679 to 2005.
In keeping with Quaker practice most such interments are unmarked. Our few older headstones comprise eleven for the Fry family of Woodgate in Culmstock, five for the Were family, including three with footstones, two for the Southeys of Culmstock and one lower down for Catherine Stark of Uffculme.
About 1780 the Burial Ground seems to have been re-ordered, an undated plan shows the location of 116 graves after this time. Some of these are brick lined and probably superimposed on earlier burials. Between 1880 and 1952 there were few burials but since then burials and scattering of ashes has resumed, some are marked by wall memorials. A Remembrance Book has recently been started.
In 2009, we obtained permission to open a New Burial Ground in the old orchard where George Fox is reputed to have preached all those years ago. Of course, this action led to other needs, a new access road, a new car park, and improved catering facilities. Much work has recently been done on landscaping and drainage. Then plaster began to fall off walls in 2012 which initiated a major restoration project for our Grade II* Listed Building. In all we have spent more than £70,000 on recent improvements and restoration. We are grateful to those who have given us grants, to individual donors, and for the continued encouragement and financial support of West Somerset Quaker Meeting.
The Spiceland Burial Ground may be accessed at any time in daylight hours via the sign posted pathway from the public road. Only support dogs are allowed into this area and must be kept on their harness.