Site of unmarked common graves of the remains of more than 4,000 paupers at Avonview Cemetery

In 2012 Bristol Radical History Group launched a project to research into the thousands of unmarked graves of paupers from the Eastville workhouse (at 100 Fishponds Road) who were buried in nearby Rosemary Green. In 2014 the Eastville Workhouse Memorial Group (EWMG) was formed to commemorate and memorialise the 4,084 people who lived and died in Eastville workhouse and were interred at the site between 1851 and 1895, along with another 118 inmates’ bodies which were sold to medical schools. In November 2015 EWMG unveiled a standing stone memorial at Rosemary Green to mark the burial ground and the forgotten paupers.

Unveiling of memorial at Rosemary Green pauper burial ground in November 2015

In 1972 the Eastville workhouse buildings (an elderly peoples home) were demolished in preparation for the construction of the East Park Housing Estate. Our research has shown that there was a crude disinterment of the burial ground during the demolition, with 167 boxes of large bones moved to unmarked common graves at Avonview Cemetery, St George. EWMG have always felt that the last resting place of the paupers should be marked. Thanks to donations from the EWMG, the Church of England dioceses of Gloucester and Bristol and Bristol City Council a gravestone has been designed, carved and installed by local mason Matthew Billington.

The new memorial in production thanks to the work of stone mason Matthew Billington

The unveiling ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 8th 2019 at 1.00pm at the western end of Avonview Cemetery (off Blackswarth Road and Beaufort Road) in St George. All welcome.

 

1 Comment

  1. Janet (Alexander) White

    Delighted about this memorial,my gr grandmother Ann Alexander died in the workhouse she was in her 80.
    Also I believe her granddaughter Virtue is buried in a paupers grave she died aged 18 in 1918 from the Spanish flu epidemic.

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