Tour page 6

 We are coming to the end of the tour. Before we move towards Wakefield Road, take a few steps up the path and look for a headstone dedicated to Smith and Pybus.  Two boys were killed in WW1, Private Walter Pybus was in the newly formed Royal Flying Corps and his brother, Herbert, a Corporal in the Grenadier Guards.

 Now begin to walk alongside the Till Carr Lane wall, after a few steps you will notice that almost all graves are flat ledger stones with a few tombs. All of this area, the oldest part, was closed by the action of the Privy Council around 1867. There had been national concerns that many burial grounds were too full and that they were posing a serious risk to health. Lightcliffe was no exception. The only burials in this part that were then allowed were in existing family plots. The Privy Council passed the upkeep of these closed areas to the local authorities and Calderdale Council now cuts the grass here.

You should find a larger than average grave near to the end of the old church dedicated to the Walker family of Crow Nest. The family was a major benefactor to the church and William Walker imported timbers from the Baltic for its construction.

From here towards the entrance path are many of the old graves. It is interesting to see the styles of carving - many presumably done by local craftsmen by hand - often changing as generations are added to the grave. There are several here dated from the late C17 to the mid 1700s.

 

Then look for the Holland tomb which is built on top of ledger stones of earlier generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 A few rows in from here is the chest tomb of the Guest family.  Joshua Guest became famous in 1746 when he successfully commanded Edinburgh Castle against the Jacobite Rebellion (he has a monument in Westminster Abbey).

 

 

 

Gentleman Jack. A number of the characters in the programme are based on real people who were buried here. To look for their resting places, please follow these directions.

From this post, head towards Wakefield Road until you come to the outline of the old church. Immediately on your left (east) you will see a large rectangular ledger (flat) grave memorial dedicated to the Walker family. You will see that the family was living in the two big houses of Cliff Hill and Crow Nest (the latter long since demolished). Here are remembered, baby William, 16-year-old Mary and their parents John & Mary Walker. A grand daughter, Mary Sutherland, is also buried here.

Buried under the church were Ann Walker, her aunt Ann and Rev Robert Wilkinson. We don’t know where the latter two were buried but Ann, herself, was buried under the northern pulpit. If you look you can see the outline of the old church walls including the curve of the apse at the other end from the tower. Her grave would have been a few paces towards the tower from the end of the church and on the right (northern) side.

Ann Walker of Lightcliffe was a young, wealthy co heiress to the Crow Nest estate which included the houses at Lidgate and Cliffe Hill as well as Crow Nest. She became the partner of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall. After Anne Lister’s death she remained at Shibden Hall and then had a time in York before returning to Cliffe Hill where she died aged 50 in 1854.

Aunt Ann Walker was the sister of John Walker, Ann Walker’s father. She never married and lived at Cliffe Hill House until she died in 1847 aged 90.

In the tower – now in the ownership of Friends of Friendless Churches – are memorial plaques for Rev. Richard Sutcliffe (the minister when the church was built) & his wife, John & Mary Walker, Ann Walker and her brother John who died on his honeymoon in Naples. He would have inherited the estate.

For the rest of the tour, you will find Tour 1 post between the tower and the main entrance to the churchyard.


 


Just before you leave by the main gate and up against the Wakefield Road wall & near to the noticeboard, do look for Stephen Schofield, the blacksmith whose anvil is now quiet.

 

 

We hope that you've enjoyed touring this old and precious place.

"A sanctuary for the living as well as the dead."

 

 

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The postcode for the churchyard (for sat navs) is HX3 8TH.

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