St Hilda's stands on an ancient site presumed to have been occupied by the monastery founded by St Aidan in 647. There is no record of the exact date of the original foundation of the chapelry but there is evidence for a Saxon building below the present nave. The church certainly existed in Norman times, since it is mentioned in a Charter of 1154 and again in the Charter of King John in 1204. The present church was built in the early 19th century. It was damaged during WW2 when enemy aircraft bombed the Market place and surrounding area. After the war the task of restoring the church was started. It was completed in 1949. In the late 1970s the church interior was altered. Since 1948 when the churchyard was laid out as an open space, the substantial graveyard has been virtually destroyed by modern developments. Today very little remains, and the bulk of the old cemetery is used as a public space and a short cut to Asda.
Some memorials have survived. Fragments of headstones have been used to top the walls which edge a path into the public garden area. A few are scattered near the sun dial and main door, Some good preserved stones have been erected against the south and east walls of the Song Room. (see below)
Although there is a tearoom, open most days, the welcome is on the whole, i have found, hostile! and very un-Christian So don't bother. I don't.

Open the photograph album left to view many more pictures of the cemetery, unusual stones and epitaphs. I will add more photographs as I visit this cemetery. If you would like to add your own, please contact me, and if they are suitable, I will add them, with an acknowledgement. There a several pages in this album.


 Who is Buried here?



Sir William Hamelton

James Winterbottom

George Scorfield




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