Ilminster Cemetery overgrown and disrespectful, residents claim

Ilminster Cemetery overgrown and disrespectful, residents claim

Ilminster Cemetery overgrown and disrespectful, residents claim

First published in News Chard & Ilminster News: Photograph of the Author by

OVERGROWN, disrespectful and disgusting – some of the words used to describe the state of Ilminster Cemetery this week.

The cemetery, on The Beacon, has been cut off from the town since the closure of New Road but residents say this should not be an excuse for allowing the site to become unkempt.

District councillor Kim Turner said she was disgusted at how overgrown the area was when she visited to lay flowers last week.

She added: “The grass is almost a foot high in places – my trousers were soaked from walking through the grass.

“The state of the cemetery is appalling and it should be kept nice out of respect for the people who are buried there.”

Another Ilminster resident, who asked not to be named, said he was greeted by overgrown thistles and weeds when he visited.

He added: “The grass is even growing over people’s floral tributes and gravestones.

Chard & Ilminster News:

“This is one of the main things it [Ilminster Town Council] is responsible for. You don’t see the town centre graveyard at the Minster getting into such a state. The council has a duty to the dead as well as the living and it’s lack of upkeep is disrespectful to the people of Ilminster resting there.

“This growth must be about two weeks; you can still see the dried grass from the last cut lying around.”

The grass appeared to have been cut at the end of last week and Ilminster Town Council’s clerk Joy Norris they were aware of the problem and described the cemetery as “not currently at the standard they would like it to be”.

Chard & Ilminster News:

She added: “We have only been able to cut it twice this year because it has been so wet underfoot; we have had to take equipment through Dillington Estate because the road is closed, and we have been a member of staff down.

“We hired an agency member of staff last week and we are doing our best to put it right.”

Chard & Ilminster News:

There were concerns over a large pile of rubble at the cemetery and Miss Norris said this was from the wall which had fallen into disrepair.

She said work was due to start imminently to level off a path and then the remainder of the stone will be taken to Herne Hill to help build a lookout.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below.

Comments (11)

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8:44am Fri 6 Jun 14

QuillPen says...

Could it be managed as a wildlife friendly cemetery?
Cutting where appropriate, of course, but with areas to encourage native wild flowers and thus insects and birds? Much better, surely, than a bowling green look from wall to wall. Were I to be buried there, I know which I'd prefer.
Could it be managed as a wildlife friendly cemetery? Cutting where appropriate, of course, but with areas to encourage native wild flowers and thus insects and birds? Much better, surely, than a bowling green look from wall to wall. Were I to be buried there, I know which I'd prefer. QuillPen
  • Score: -5

1:33pm Fri 6 Jun 14

QuillPen says...

As usual, negative score but no reasons given. What do you think is wrong with my idea?
As usual, negative score but no reasons given. What do you think is wrong with my idea? QuillPen
  • Score: -4

2:00pm Fri 6 Jun 14

exburnleylad says...

QuillPen wrote:
As usual, negative score but no reasons given. What do you think is wrong with my idea?
I Kind of agree with you Quill pen a Wildlife friendly Cemetery what a great idea wild flowers butterfly's bees Birds ETC it sounds quite idyllic I like the idea the hive of natures activity above my plot after I popped off but I suppose its personal choice I bet some people would love it then you have the people who wont. I suppose its the norm to have the Bowling green effect as a sign of dignity and respect and all that but the world is changing we are losing more green spaces to housing ETC so maybe it time us Humans who are taking away green spaces think of ways to protect and encourage our wildlife to thrive and Quill Pens idea is perfect for that ,
[quote][p][bold]QuillPen[/bold] wrote: As usual, negative score but no reasons given. What do you think is wrong with my idea?[/p][/quote]I Kind of agree with you Quill pen a Wildlife friendly Cemetery what a great idea wild flowers butterfly's bees Birds ETC it sounds quite idyllic I like the idea the hive of natures activity above my plot after I popped off but I suppose its personal choice I bet some people would love it then you have the people who wont. I suppose its the norm to have the Bowling green effect as a sign of dignity and respect and all that but the world is changing we are losing more green spaces to housing ETC so maybe it time us Humans who are taking away green spaces think of ways to protect and encourage our wildlife to thrive and Quill Pens idea is perfect for that , exburnleylad
  • Score: 3

3:30pm Fri 6 Jun 14

MrWendall says...

It's impractical to convert it to a wildlife friendly cemetery as many buried there did so under the impression it would be tended in the traditional sense of "bowling green" respectfulness. As such, any change could understandably be construed as a breach of contract to any recent burials or at the very least disrespectful to their last wishes.

There are other wildflower burial sites around the country if that's your personal preference, but none I'm aware of in this area, perhaps an opportunity for a local landowner?
It's impractical to convert it to a wildlife friendly cemetery as many buried there did so under the impression it would be tended in the traditional sense of "bowling green" respectfulness. As such, any change could understandably be construed as a breach of contract to any recent burials or at the very least disrespectful to their last wishes. There are other wildflower burial sites around the country if that's your personal preference, but none I'm aware of in this area, perhaps an opportunity for a local landowner? MrWendall
  • Score: 10

5:01pm Fri 6 Jun 14

QuillPen says...

I'm not talking about it being a wildflower burial site as such, but that appropriate areas in Ilminster cemetery be managed to allow wildlife to thrive.

This is an example of such management.

http://www.disscounc
il.com/cemetery-wild
life.php
I'm not talking about it being a wildflower burial site as such, but that appropriate areas in Ilminster cemetery be managed to allow wildlife to thrive. This is an example of such management. http://www.disscounc il.com/cemetery-wild life.php QuillPen
  • Score: 1

6:56pm Fri 6 Jun 14

QuillPen says...

By the way, how would managing it so wildlife could thrive in parts of it be disrespectful?
I don't understand that, so perhaps someone could explain their reasoning.
By the way, how would managing it so wildlife could thrive in parts of it be disrespectful? I don't understand that, so perhaps someone could explain their reasoning. QuillPen
  • Score: 1

10:08pm Fri 6 Jun 14

orchardman says...

Having read all the previous comments, I rather think that due to its location,well out of town in an area extremely unlikely to be built on, the compromise is already there. The actual cemetery should be maintained in a well tended manner, but as it's surrounded by farmland the wildlife most probably has for many years been part of the grounds. I also assume the lookout on Herne Hill will be so we can watch the farmland being swallowed up by the proposed developments in the area!.
Having read all the previous comments, I rather think that due to its location,well out of town in an area extremely unlikely to be built on, the compromise is already there. The actual cemetery should be maintained in a well tended manner, but as it's surrounded by farmland the wildlife most probably has for many years been part of the grounds. I also assume the lookout on Herne Hill will be so we can watch the farmland being swallowed up by the proposed developments in the area!. orchardman
  • Score: 3

10:19pm Fri 6 Jun 14

MrWendall says...

It's only disrespectful because you are changing the environment people chose to be buried in, even if that's just increasing the number of creatures in the immediate surroundings. (And as far as I know, we can't ask if they are OK with that post death?)

In a town like Ilminster there is a relatively high proportion of religious folk who believe in the afterlife. They want their remains kept in the serene almost sacred ground that they see the cemetery as representing and that's what they pay their fees for.


For the record, I would much rather be recycled in a field than a cemetery. But at the same time understand the need to respect others wishes.
It's only disrespectful because you are changing the environment people chose to be buried in, even if that's just increasing the number of creatures in the immediate surroundings. (And as far as I know, we can't ask if they are OK with that post death?) In a town like Ilminster there is a relatively high proportion of religious folk who believe in the afterlife. They want their remains kept in the serene almost sacred ground that they see the cemetery as representing and that's what they pay their fees for. For the record, I would much rather be recycled in a field than a cemetery. But at the same time understand the need to respect others wishes. MrWendall
  • Score: 10

11:12am Sat 7 Jun 14

QuillPen says...

Is the cemetery actually consecrated ground the same as a churchyard? I'm not being flippant, genuinely asking.
Do people have to be Christians to be buried there?

What about people of other or no religion? Can they be buried there?

It doesn't affect me as I am an atheist and want a woodland/meadow burial, anyway.

Just interested.
Is the cemetery actually consecrated ground the same as a churchyard? I'm not being flippant, genuinely asking. Do people have to be Christians to be buried there? What about people of other or no religion? Can they be buried there? It doesn't affect me as I am an atheist and want a woodland/meadow burial, anyway. Just interested. QuillPen
  • Score: 0

11:48pm Sat 14 Jun 14

Ilminster Res says...

Can't the Town Council use the diversion via Ilton, like the residents affected by the road closure are having to use on a daily basis if its problematic to go via Dillington? Perhaps they should be putting pressure on SCC to get a move on with the repairs? Totally agree the cemetery is a disgrace but credit to the groundsmen who have been trying their best to cope with the non replacement of a colleague for over a couple of months.
Can't the Town Council use the diversion via Ilton, like the residents affected by the road closure are having to use on a daily basis if its problematic to go via Dillington? Perhaps they should be putting pressure on SCC to get a move on with the repairs? Totally agree the cemetery is a disgrace but credit to the groundsmen who have been trying their best to cope with the non replacement of a colleague for over a couple of months. Ilminster Res
  • Score: 1

9:46pm Sun 15 Jun 14

Watchkeeper 10 says...

The closure of the road is absolutely no reason for the current state of the cemetery. In my opinion the Town Council has lost the plot. Andrew, one of the groundsmen moved on several months ago and the decision was taken not to replace him, more than likely a cost savings decision which now that an agency worker is being used will end up costing more. I agree with Ilminster Res, the 2 chaps left to do the work, one of whom I believe is an appentice do a sterling job in difficult circumstances.

As the weather was nice today, I walked up the beacon as far as the cemetery and it was lucky that the road is still closed. The hedge along the pavement has been neglected every bit as much as the cemetery and in places it is not possible to walk on the pavement, without getting caught by brambles or stung by nettles.
The closure of the road is absolutely no reason for the current state of the cemetery. In my opinion the Town Council has lost the plot. Andrew, one of the groundsmen moved on several months ago and the decision was taken not to replace him, more than likely a cost savings decision which now that an agency worker is being used will end up costing more. I agree with Ilminster Res, the 2 chaps left to do the work, one of whom I believe is an appentice do a sterling job in difficult circumstances. As the weather was nice today, I walked up the beacon as far as the cemetery and it was lucky that the road is still closed. The hedge along the pavement has been neglected every bit as much as the cemetery and in places it is not possible to walk on the pavement, without getting caught by brambles or stung by nettles. Watchkeeper 10
  • Score: 1

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