Vandals strike at Wisbech cemetery
‘Mindless’ vandals have caused £1,000 worth of damage to historic gravestones in a Wisbech cemetery.
Four Victorian gravestones and monuments in Wisbech General Cemetery have been knocked over in attacks on the site.
Wisbech Society and the Friends of Wisbech have forked out £1,000 to employ a stonemason to repair the damage, which has now been completed.
Society treasurer David Crouch says vandalism is a perennial problem at the cemetery.
He said: “I would urge people to show some respect for the dead and the living who are trying to keep the cemetery for the benefit of the town.
“Volunteers are giving up their own time to work hard to keep the cemetery going for the town.”
The gravestones and monuments were damaged during the last year and the stonemason has had to install a steel base to make it harder for vandals.
Mr Crouch said: “When these were first put up, they obviously didn’t have the vandalism like we have nowadays, as the monuments were not fixed at the bottom.”
The General Cemetery, which opened in 1836, is nationally significant as it is one of the few non-denominatioal burial places established in England during the Victorian era.
The cemetery is also an important source for historians and researchers as it is the final resting place of several people of local significance.
Recognising the General Cemetery’s conservation and historical value to the town, the Society and friends opened Lambert’s Walk, an improved access route from North End.
Wisbech Society is also working on plans to bring the cemetery’s dilapidated chapel back into use.
It needs an estimated £200,000 to transform the neglected chapel at the town’s General Cemetery into a vibrant community and education centre.
The society also hopes to restore the Medworth tomb in St Peter and St Paul’s Church.