The Paupers Graveyard is the former burial site linked to the Workhouse. It can be found at the end of Mill Close off St Michaels Avenue
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Aylsham Paupers Graveyard
The story behind this little graveyard starts in 1847. The new poor law union of Aylsham was building the new workhouse and the vicar of Aylsham was already foreseeing problems. With the new union now serving forty-six parishes, the vicar could see that his churchyard would be under pressure. So moves were made to create a burial ground for the exclusive use of the Workhouse. After much discussion this was finally in place in 1857 and the land consecrated towards the end of the year
The union death register recorded on 1st December 1857 'This was the first burial in the new ground at the House' , the entry for Eliza Gray a 75 year old from Aylsham.
Burials at the 'workhouse cemetery' continued with the last burial according to records being Kathleen Thompson in 1903. After the workhouse closed the County Council took over the building as a hospital.
In 2005 the hospital closed and the old hospital and the land that surrounded it was purchased for development. The remaining land including the Paupers Graveyard was transferred to Aylsham Town Council in 2016. In the intervening years this area had become very overgrown and so began the process of clearing it .
At this time research was undertaken by volunteers from the Heritage Centre in Aylsham and a complete list of those buried has been compiled. It is available to view in the Heritage Centre which is in St Michael’s churchyard.
The land was covered in brambles and bind weed and the Town Council were grateful to Aylsham Scouts who did an excellent job in clearing the bulk of the growth. There then followed a period of two years when the land was regularly treated to ensure the invasive weeds did not re-establish themselves.
Aylsham In Bloom, with assistance (including a grant) from The Royal Horticultural Society and working with Aylsham High School and Aylsham Rotary, were just ready to plant the area when the covid-19 outbreak in 2020 closed everything down. Towards the end of 2021 work began again with an official opening of the garden in March 2022