Dr Varndell will briefly describe the history of the graveyard, the setting up of Exeter Dissenters’ Graveyard Trust in 2014 and work done by the EDGT over the last ten years to protect this historic site. He then will talk about some of the people buried in the graveyard and will attempt to give an insight into life in Georgian and early Victorian Exeter.
In the period from 1748 to 1854 more than 1520 Dissenters – Protestants who dissented from the strictures of the Anglican Church – were buried in the small, almost rectangular, graveyard which is situated at the junction of Magdalen Street and Bull Meadow Road, a plot on the outskirts of the walled city of Exeter (Devon, U.K.). The site was owned by various Church groups until the 1980s when it passed into private ownership. Sadly, over the intervening years, the site fell into neglect and disrepair.
Exeter Dissenters’ Graveyard belonged to George’s Meeting until the 1980s, when it was sold to the first of several hopeful developers. The last of these, though interested in building social housing, was also sympathetic to preservation. He challenged local people to come up with a funded renovation plan. The challenge was met and thanks to a generous anonymous donation the site was purchased by Exeter Historic Buildings Trust (EHBT) to be passed on to the newly formed Exeter Dissenters Graveyard Trust (EDGT) when formally incorporated as a charity.
Parking onsite is limited for disabled people only, telephone the Mint on 01392 279786 to reserve a space. This City Centre venue is well served by public transport and there are public car parks nearby.
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