Ashburton Digital Archive
The Ashburton Digital Archive
This archive has been established as a means of providing open digital access to the Memorial Inscriptions (MIs) for St.Andrews Churchyard, Ashburton, Devon. The Project to computerise the original paper records started in 2013 and is on-going. As further records are digitised they will be added to this archive (website), section by section. We hope that this material will be of use for local historians and Family Historians around the world.
The original MI records were created through a series of surveys undertaken by local people between 1973 and 1981. These paper records included hand-drawn sketches of the headstones and facsimiles of the inscription details for all the MIs that were decipherable at that time. These paper records were enhanced in approximately 1981 by producing typed alphabetically listed summaries for each churchyard section.
The members of the current project team formed from a sub-group of the Ashburton U3A Family History group. The group believed that the paper records of St.Andrews Memorial Inscriptions were an important part of local history and would undoubtedly be a great value to Family Historians around the world, especially if they could be made searchable online. The Ashburton Museum and St.Andrews church receive many enquiries each year about local history and local families. This archive/website plus the detailed local history information provided on the website ‘Old Ashburton’ can assist with local history researches.
There is a paper based inventory of the Memorial Inscriptions for St.Andrews Churchyard which was compiled between 1973 and 1981. The original documents from the surveys are kept in a file in the Ashburton Museum and further copies of the summary records are kept in the St.Andrews church and also the Ashburton Information Centre (behind the Town Hall), which are available for consultation by visitors and researchers. The original records in the museum include the location plans and hand-drawn sketches of the monuments. These 1973-81 survey details are now at least 37 years out of date and the headstones may have become even more unreadable over those intervening years. Where necessary the online records have been updated and re-organised to reflect the actual conditions in the Churchyard at this time (2018).
The full churchyard is divided into three main sections: The Old Churchyard; the 1884 Section and the 1956 Section. Many burials are known to have been made since the original surveys were undertaken and are now included in the online records.
Using this Digitised Inventory of St.Andrews Memorial Inscriptions
The current website includes records for all the Monuments in both the 1956 & 1884 sections of the churchyard. The third and Old(est) section of churchyard is currently being surveyed and its monuments photographed and we are hoping to complete this final phase of the project work during 2018. The current searchable online database includes many thousands of inscription records and photographs of the monuments (if they are still visible).