Sunday, 14 April 2013

Cholsey Churchyard

Over in the far right hand corner of Cholsey Churchyard not far from Agatha Christies grave you will find the grave of Alfred Shaw. Alfred was Station Master at the old Moulsford Station and would probably have lived with his wife in one of these houses

On the 21st February 1876 he was helping  load sheep on a wagon when one tried to escape. Alfred managed to stop it but ended up falling on top of it. He recovered ok and help load another 15 on the truck before going home for tea. After the last train had gone he retire and during the night his wife woke with  his soring and she told him to stop as it frightened her, next she heard a rattle in his throat and he died. At the inquest it was said that they think he died from internal injury  caused by the fall.
Moulsford station used to be here and the platforms would have been on the right of the photo and on the left where the two lines are near the old Hotel now a block of flats.

Alfred was 29 when he died and left his wife of 26 and two young children with no support. The inscription reads.
" Alfred Shaw of Manchester Late Station Master Moulsford GWR who died February 23rd 1878 age 29 Years  I will go to him but he shall not return to me"

Not far away near the church you will find the grave of Reverend Wyatt Cottle who fired the parish clerk for sacrilege and was then taken to court. The clerk was proved innocent but it ended up  in him going to the High court in London and being Granted a writ of mandamus to be given his old job back. The clerk ended up getting paid off with in effect 70 years wages. 
Cottle on the other hand was not trusted in the village after that and ended up himself being taken to court for non payment of work that had been done for him, he died on the 27th May 1832 age 77 being out lived by the clerk who died in 1845 age 70.

Near the church you can find the graves of the Hunt Family who were local landowners and farmers owning the Elms

The nice thing about the graves is that they have the footstones in place as well

Nearby you can see other graves with footstones which belong to the Larkcom family

In the north side of the church are more footstones though I must admit when I first saw them I though they were graves of children

The names mentioned in this blog can also be found in a new book called Crime & Calamity in Cholsey by Barrie Charles  which takes place between 1819 - 1919. If you wander round the churchyard you can find a lot of the graves of the people mentioned in the book.


  1. What a wonderful blog, Bill!

    1. Thank you very much for the comment.

  2. I also love to strawl over graveyards. Especially those old ones. I posted a blog myself about an old cemetery once. I love the silence and the stories these old stones tell us...

    Kind regards from the Netherlands,
    Gert Jan

    1. Yes I remember the blog it was well captured and I agree with your sentiments

  3. Another fantastic post with lots of interesting information. I always get excited when I find footstones in situ.

    Thank you for linking up with Cemetery Sunday

    Beneath Thy Feet

  4. Lovely set of photos! And interesting bit about Alfred -- apparently falling on a sheep didn't mean that he landed on something soft and cushy. Poor man.

    Thanks for sharing on Taphophile Tragics!

  5. Lovely set of photos! Too bad about poor Alfred ---- one would hope that if you landed on a sheep, there'd be more of a cushion.

    Thanks for sharing this on Taphophile Tragics!

    1. I do wonder about the cause of death, falling on a sheep does not seem the sort of thing which would cause internal injury to die from.

  6. I am not familiar with foot stones. I wonder if this is on old world practice. I google +'d this.