The Wembdon Road Cemetery was founded on the principle, articulated by Richard Smith of Bridgwater in 1851,
"I lay down this proposition, that it is the right of every Englishman to have a place to be buried in; and, being buried, that no mortal being has a right to touch his remains - that they shall remain undisturbed until the resurrection morning"
Bridgwater Times 4 December 1851
The Friends was founded in 2010 with a handful of people who were passionate about restoring dignity to this much neglected cemetery. Our small group has steadily grown with much friendship, lots of hard work and very modest funds. In that respect it is quite remarkable what has been achieved in such a relatively small time.
The cemetery is maintained by Sedgemoor District Council as a closed burial ground. Where the council makes the cemetery safe for members of the public, the Friends seek to make the cemetery appropriate as the last resting place for the people buried there. The Friends aim to build upon the basic council maintenance to improve the overall condition of the cemetery and its wildlife, and to create a peaceful quite park for the townsfolk - the ideal Garden Cemetery as first envisioned in 1851,
Many of the founders of the Friends are volunteers but we do not expect this of all our members. However, if you would like to consider joining us in some aspect or other of our voluntary work we would be delighted to hear from you by pressing Contact Us below.
The volunteers who lovingly maintain the cemetery do a sterling job. During the Spring, Summer and Autumn, working parties go into the cemetery, usually on Sundays mornings. Work includes clearing sections of the cemetery of overgrowth, tending to individual memorials, checking memorial inscriptions for the database and general gardening. It's great fun and fantastic exercise. As so much needs done jobs can be tailored to your abilities and interests, from light work weeding, through to light memorial conservation. Anyone can join in, even if you just wish to plant some spring bulbs, so do please come along and help out or press Contact Us below to find out more.
Our Research Volunteers provide an equally important service. A Formal diary has not been kept of their work but they have the privilege of their efforts being regularly published in the Members' section. This covers a myriad of fascinating areas of research, in the past some of these have included.
Creation of profiles of all manner of personalities who are buried here
Re-creation of Grave Plans
Discovering archives relating directly to the Cemetery
Research for talks, walking tours and exhibitions
Burial Register Transcriptions
If you are local to Somerset and would like to undertake research whether it be transcribing part of a register or simply searching out an Obituary in a newspaper report please press Contact Us below we will be delighted to hear from you.