Revealing the Secrets of Christ Church Emery Down Churchyard

Volunteers surveying at Christ Church Emery Down. Credit; NFNPA

As part of the Our Past, Our Future, Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) Landscape Partnership Scheme the New Forest National Park Archaeology Team have been working with Emery Down to survey the condition of, and record the monuments in Christ Church graveyard. The survey will help accurately map and identify monuments that can be conserved using HLF funds and will ultimately create a database for ongoing management of the graveyard. The other ambition is to make the list of burials and monuments within the graveyard available to the public on this site to help people who are researching their family trees.

Christ Church Volunteer Survey

To start the survey Bournemouth Archaeology were commissioned to undertake a rapid GPS survey of the graveyard monuments to produce a digital map. The map can be seen as an image above or downloaded here: Christ Church Emery Down Map. This data is also available on the New Forest Knowledge map; if you visit the homepage and then explore the map by expanding the layers and turning on Churchyard Memorials under the archaeology layer.

The local community were then encouraged to start adding further data and information to this base survey using guidance based on Historic England Advice for Caring for Heritage Cemeteries and Burial Grounds. This was used to create some bespoke guidance for the New Forest.

Though a paper form can be filled in on site the data from this needs to be inputted into the main New Forest Churchyard database. This is managed through ArcGIS and the digital form can be accessed here: New Forest Survey Form

As this data is added by volunteers the main database will be updated so you will be able to explore it on New Forest Knowledge.

Can you Help?

Can you help Emery Down complete their graveyard survey. All the background information you need is above and then you can visit the graveyard and spend some time exploring the site and maybe add some information using the forms.


As well as the graveyard survey adding names and dates to the database allowing residents and visitors to research their family history the condition monitoring element is allowing monuments suitable for conservation using National Lottery Heritage Funding. A number of monuments in Christ Church Emery Down have recently been conserved and you can find out more about them here: Conservation work at Christ Church Emery Down


As well as hard graft from volunteers we have been using technology to help us reveal the secrets of Christ Church; Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). The process involves taking numerous photos of one monument with a raking light and then letting the computer do the hard work to produce some amazing results. If you are interested in learning more about RTI photography you can do: here. The results produced highlighted how valuable RTI is; as the inscriptions that were once illegible have now been legible, providing a greater resource within the overall survey and documentation process.


Grave 1

In loving memory of Albert Broomfield who died July 25th June 1916, aged 42 years

Day by day we all do miss him, words would fail our loss to tell, but in heaven we hope to meet him, never more to say farewell.

Louisa, beloved wife of the above, died Feb 16th 1951, aged 80 years.

Grave 2

In loving memory of Reuben Henry, the beloved son of Reuben and Mary Phillips, who died June 15th 1908; aged 21 years.

His end was peace

Grave 3

In Loving memory of our dear parents Thomas Taplin, died Dec 19th 1921, aged 69, and Sarah Taplin, died Sept 27th 1932, aged 77.

In thy presence is fulness of joy

Grave 4

Martha, the beloved daughter of Henry and Charlotte Veal, who died April 8th 1875. Aged 25 years.

And all wept and bewailed her; but he said, weep not, she is not dead, but sleepeth. Luke 8.52.

He gave, he calls them when he thinks it best, for them to come to him and take their rest.

Pellery Mason

Grave 5

In Loving memory of Emily Veal who died Aug 20th 1903, aged 76 years

Sleep on beloved; sleep and take thy rest; lay down thy head upon thy saviour’s breast; we love thee well, but Jesus loves thee best.

Grave 6

In Loving Memory of Samuel Whitehorn who died June 15th 1916 aged 49 years.

Also of Charles son of the above who was killed on Febry 4th 1916 whilst serving with the Hants Regiment in Egypt Aged 28 years

Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest, Grant them Thine eternal rest

Other Churchyards

As well as Burley we have been working at the following graveyards and using RTI to reveal their secrets.

New Forest Graveyard Survey

RTI Example from Emery Down

Date: 1864

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