Fast Search

You are Here: Home / South Shields, St. Hilda's Churchyard

Tyne and Wear HER(16513): South Shields, St. Hilda's Churchyard - Details

Back to Search Results


S Tyneside

South Shields, St. Hilda's Churchyard

South Shields


Religious Ritual and Funerary

Mixed Cemetery


Post Medieval


Churchyard as shown on Wood's Plan of 1827. The churchyard appears smaller on Richardson's map of 1768 and Fryer's map of 1773. It was expanded southwards in the early 19th century following the raising of the land and the infilling of the Mill Dam. Despite this the burial ground could not cope with the expanding town population. The graveyard had the following guidelines implemented: '…One body only to be buried in each grave; no burial to take place in any grave without a covering of earth four and a half feet in depth at the least…and burials to be wholly discontinued therein from and after the 1st July 1855.' St. hilda's graveyard was closed 1st July 1855 with all burials from then interred in The South Shields and Westoe United burying ground. Occasional burials did continue at St Hilda's in existing family plots. An excavation of the cemetery by Oxford Archaeology North in 2006. This allowed the analysis of some 117 adult and 87 child skeletons from the 18th and 19th centuries. A further assemblage of 45 skeletons (43 graves/33 burial plots) were recovered during a watching brief on Coronation Street to redirect the sewerage network in 2009. The burials date between 1817-c.1860 and were generally well preserved. The graves were all on a east/west orientation matching that of the extant church and graveyard. All were laid in a supine position with their limbs extended and their hands on the pelvic region or proximal femurs. Within the excavation 33 burial plots were identified. Most of the plots containted a single burial but some contained multiple burials - up to five per plot in one case. There was also evidence for earlier burials disturbed by later burials and of raising the ground level of the cemetery to increase the amount of burials within it. Some examples of shroud pins and coffin fittings were found but only a small sample and these were highly corroded.




Oxford Archaeology North, 2011, Coronation Street, South Shields, Tyne and Wear - Archaeological Excavation and Osteological Analysis Report; Oxford Archaeology North, 2009, Sewer Diversion Excavation, Coronation Street, South Shields - Assessment of osteoarchaeological watching brief results; Pre-construct archaeology 2019, an archaeological watching brief within the former St Hilda's churchyard, Coronation Street, South Shields.

Back to Search Results