No mention of the Burial Ground (Paupers Graves) is on the original Agreements relating to the House of Industry, but it can only be assumed that it was part of the original plans along with the Infirmary, which was part of the Burial Ground. It was certainly on a number of maps dating from the 1840’s obtained from Ordinance Survey. Unfortunately most of the records relating to the burial ground have been lost or destroyed over the years, the latest when a fire broke out in Stow Lodge when the NHS was responsible for the building. We do know that the Infirmary was pulled down in 1960 and that the site was allowed to become overgrown and left to deteriorate.
Onehouse Parish Council became interested in purchasing the site in 1999 when the government, who let it be known that they would release the site to the local council, approached them. The site became the property of the parish council on the 19th November 2000.
Most burials on the site were in a shallow grave and covered in quick lime and then soil. It was not usual to be buried deep. A small wooden cross bearing a metal number was then put at the head of the grave. On extracting one of these crosses recently lime was still to be found on the base.
Metal numbers were used up to one hundred and after that painted numbers were used. Many metal number have been found and since 2008 are displayed on a cross on the site. On examination these metal numbers were likely to have been ones that were on obtained from local railway stock. There are only a few crosses left now, but one has been affixed to a concrete post near the oak bench so that it can be examined. No painted crosses have ever been found.
A local school started to tidy up the site in 1980’s, but that did not come to anything as the master moved on and retired. The Parish Council decided after the purchase that it wanted to start the task of clearing the site with the help of volunteers. This is still happening to this day and the loyal bunch still meet up in the winter months to perform this work.
With thanks to M.J.Chase, Ipswich Record Office, Peter Higginbotham, and John Michelle.
During recent years a small group of volunteers has regularly met to undertake work on the site, endeavouring to clear undergrowth, cut back bushes and trees and to make the area fully accessible.
As can be seen from the photographs below the site of the Paupers Graves is now an area of peace and tranquility, open to visitors.
The large cross, along with the oak bench and the information board, was put onto the site in early 2008 and the cross was blessed by the local vicar on Saturday 5th May 2008.
If you would like to assist with the ongoing work, the ‘working party’ meets regularly at the site, on the first and third Fridays of each month, at about 9.30 am.
This site was originally produced by Elcom 64-Bit Solutions our thanks to the contributors from the community of Onehouse.- particularly to Andrew Sykes, OHSMag Editor