Hawkhurst Cemetery Restoration project

MEDIA RELEASE

Restoration Project for Hawkhurst Cemetery

Hawkhurst Parish Council has agreed a major cemetery restoration project which will: improve the cemetery’s physical features; extend the cemetery to meet the future needs of the village; and, ensure that it remains a beautiful rural setting – peaceful for people and a haven for wildlife.

Cllr Clare Escombe, chairman of Hawkhurst Parish Council said:

“As custodians of the cemetery we want to ensure that it is not just maintained, but improved and restored.  Our cemetery project team identified a range of measures that the Council will take forward.  These include:

  • restoration of the historic main gate;
  • renewing the pedestrian entrance and fencing;
  • new hedge planting along Hastings Road;
  • work to improve the health of the trees;
  • better parking;
  • clearing of the public pathway down from the village;
  • extending the popular woodland cemetery; and,
  • improved general maintenance.”

The detailed survey of the grounds also discovered that some sets of grave kerbs had been moved about 30 years ago, and over time had become partially buried.  These grave kerbs have been rescued and will be cleaned and where necessary repaired before then being restored to their original gravesites.  Research into those graves affected has involved not just a detailed inspection of the kerbs but also searches of historic Parish records.   The Clerk has written to the last known relatives.  The missing kerbs are from part of Section C of the cemetery.

If you believe a relative was buried in Section C and want to speak to the Clerk then please contact him on parish.clerk@hawkhurst-pc.gov.uk or 01580 752058 or come to the Library on any Monday from 9:30am to 11am.

Commenting on the grave kerbs, the Parish Council Chairman, Clare Escombe commented:

“The Parish Council have operated the cemetery since it opened in 1939.  It is a peaceful and beautiful rural cemetery with generations of local families buried therein.  Our duty of care is to all those who entrust their loved ones to the Parish cemetery and the passage of time does not in any way wither that responsibility.  That is why we will do the right thing and restore the kerbs to their rightful places.  The work to put the grave kerbs back will commence after Easter.”

END 

For further information, please contact Richard the Parish Clerk on 01580 752058 or

Email parish.clerk@hawkhurst-pc.gov.uk