St John the Baptist Parish Church

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The Churchyard

About the Churchyard

The Churchyard of St John the Baptist Church has been used as a resting place for those who have died since 1873.

Historically, the Churchyard was the burial place for every resident within the parish.

The original churchyard was to the immediate north and south of the building, with the main area being the triangular area to the east between the church and the village. These are now called Old North, Old South and Old East.

In 1893 a 72 foot strip of land, to the west of the church was donated and 5 years later the rest of the land as far as Church Road West was purchased. Memorial tablets to record interments are located beside the path to the north of the church and also in the east.

Since 1971, Bracknell Forest has provided the Bracknell Cemetery and Crematorium as an alternative. Nevertheless, anyone who dies in the parish or while resident in it is still entitled to burial there. These rights apply to anyone, irrespective of whether they had any church or Christian commitment.  

There are some 3300 records of people buried or interred in the Churchyard. These are assigned to 2300 graves. Most of these are Parishioners. It is not recorded whether people buried in the Churchyard had any Church commitment, but it is likely that most did not have such a commitment.  

There are around 150 entries for children with no known graves, and a further 230 people with no known graves. This is not a new problem; the parish magazine of March 1897 records that nearly 100 graves were unidentified, out of a total at that time of 310.

In 1913, a memorial was erected in the Churchyard in memory of all those who are buried without a memorial. The inscription says “To the glory of God and in remembrance of many who without memorial rest in his loving keeping this cross is dedicated AD1913.

The Lych Gate was erected in 1913 and was later converted into a War Memorial to the men of Crowthorne who lost their lives in the 1914 -18 War. The 1939-45 War Memorial was provided by the Parish Council and installed in 1953.

The Berkshire Family History Society has spent three years photographing and cataloguing the memorials in the Churchyard. The CD which they have produced includes records of the memorials to men and women killed during the two world wars.