The graveyard surrounds St. Mary's and covers in excess of 3000 sq.m. The project was funded to photograph examples of Victorian memorials from between 1850-1900. However, headstones dating from other periods have also been imaged.
The commissioning of 1/72 scale model of the church and graveyard as it would have been in 1850 was an important part of the the project. The model is on show in the church.
The project included the development of a variety of resources from a Key stage 1 & 2 workbook to a review of Churchyard Lichens.
Brixham is divided into two halves, Lower Brixham, known as ‘Fish Town’ and Higher Brixham, known as ‘Cow Town’. Lower Brixham is a working fishing port which many people know as ‘the town of Brixham’. Higher Brixham was the original rural Saxon settlement. A thriving Victorian farming community developed centred around its medieval parish church of St. Mary’s.
During the Second World War Victorian sexton records were destroyed in the Exeter Blitz. Our project, recruited volunteers who recorded and mapped the hundreds of named Victorian burial headstones with dates of death. We researched family histories using internet resources (e.g. Ancestry.com), museum records and registers. We recorded their place of residence if in ‘Cow Town’, local schooling (if any), local work/profession, marital status, health, social circumstance and cause of death. A collection of local photographs have been produced of Victorian ‘Cow Town’.