The Doddiscombsleigh graveyard consists of two areas, the original site surrounding St Michaels Church, and a newer lower graveyard to the South West.
Sadly, the original hard copy of church records and church library, going back many hundreds of years, were lost when the fine old (but rambling) church rectory burnt down in the late 1950s.
The original (upper) graveyard does have considerable space between many of the gravestones, particularly on the East side of the Church. This may initially seem unusual but when the grass is cut very tightly it becomes evident that the graveyard is actually very full. We think it’s fair to assume that, in what is a typical country hamlet, many grave markers of 100 – 150 years ago would have disappeared because they would have been made of wood.
On the left hand side bank before the entrance to the church is where “ashes” of the deceased are interred. Included here are many relatives of family members still living in Doddiscombsleigh. A much loved and very well known army padre and retired local vicar, Stanley James Davies (Sam), is interred here. He served with great distinction particularly in Korea as an army padre and was also a “Queen’s Chaplin”.
The headstones and memorials within the graveyard represent many generations of the farmers, landowners and clergy in Doddiscombsleigh and the surrounding area. Sadly the information on many of the stones is very poor and in several cases almost lost. However, some work is slowly being carried out at least try to retain the name, date of death and age on the stones.
As many old records and photographs were destroyed in the fire at the old Rectory the Parish Council would appreciate if anyone has any old fables, stories, photographs, or if anyone knows anyone who lived in the village who has or may have any old photographs to help could you please email:
Royal Engineers 28th May 1918 (Aged 42)
There are numerous further memorials which reflect both people involved in day to day life, and also the ultimate sacrifice made by members of the armed forces. To the North East of the church in the upper graveyard is such a memorial:
Not only is the Church listed but the graveyard has two listed tombs one of which is shown in the photograph below.