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Wooden Graveboard in the Churchyard of St Margaret's

A Grade II Listed Building in Darenth, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4192 / 51°25'9"N

Longitude: 0.2434 / 0°14'36"E

OS Eastings: 556085

OS Northings: 171296

OS Grid: TQ560712

Mapcode National: GBR WD.61Y

Mapcode Global: VHHP1.5LJD

Entry Name: Wooden Graveboard in the Churchyard of St Margaret's

Listing Date: 6 July 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393372

English Heritage Legacy ID: 505501

Location: Darenth, Dartford, Kent, DA2

County: Kent

District: Dartford

Civil Parish: Darenth

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Darenth St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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Listing Text

DARENTH

989/0/10026 DARENTH HILL
06-JUL-09 Wooden Graveboard in the Churchyard of
St Margaret's

II
Wooden graveboard. Dated 1859.

DESCRIPTION: Long horizontal wooden board, probably in oak, morticed into wooden square section posts with moulded waisted pyramidal finials. The finials are in poor condition particularly the right hand one.
The obverse of the marker has the incised inscription in 'IN MEMORY OF ANN ROGERS/ Died Sep 13 1859 Aged/ 61 years'. The reverse carries the epitaph 'BE YE ALWAYS READY'. The quality of the lettering is high. Located approximately 15m north of the Church of St Margaret.

HISTORY: The graveboard was erected in memory of Anne Rogers who died 10 October 1859, aged 61. The memorial was recorded in the summer of 1920 by the antiquarian Leland L Duncan who noted inscriptions of interest in over 80 Kent churchyards. It would have been positioned longitudinally along the grave.
Wooden graveboards were a once common feature in English churchyards, especially in those southern counties without sources of good monumental stone; their use was particularly widespread in Surrey, Kent and around the Chilterns. However, in view of the vulnerability of exposed timber to decay, remaining examples, particularly from the C18 and C19, are now rather rare. By the late-1850s a wooden grave marker would probably have been the mark of either relative poverty or conservatism. The industrial revolution and the railways had made suitable stone for headstones available at affordable prices for far more people than had been the case previously. Consequently wooden markers were much less common even in the south, as a stone headstone was usually preferred by those able to afford them.

SOURCES:
Child, Mark: Discovering Churches and Churchyards. Shire Publications (2007)
Lees, Hillary: English Churchyard Memorials (2000)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The wooden graveboard in the churchyard of St Margaret's Church, Darenth is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

* As a relatively rare survival of a Victorian wooden graveboard dating from 1859;
* for its legible and good quality carved inscription;
* for its historical interest as an example of the type of funeral monument that the Industrial Revolution largely rendered obsolete through access to relatively cheap monumental stone.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Reasons for Listing

The wooden graveboard in the churchyard of St Margaret's Church, Darenth is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

* As a relatively rare survival of a Victorian wooden graveboard dating from 1859
* For its legible and good quality carved inscription and maxim
* For its historical interest as an example of the type of funeral monument that the Industrial Revolution largely rendered obsolete through access to relatively cheap monumental stone.

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