The clearances which have taken place at St Nicholas Ground over time – but most significantly around 1950, removed many the monumental markers from the central areas, relocating them around the perimeter of the sites or removing them from the site entirely. This means that in many cases, the burial marker is now some distance from the person remembered.
Martin Archer Shee (for example) – former President of the Royal Society “skilful portrait painter, perfect gentleman and atrocious poet” is remembered by a monument in the Garden of Rest. From plans of the site recently acquired we can now track the final journey of his headstone and locate the original burial place – in which his remains remain (X marks the spot).
This set of plans had been thought lost to time, and although work had been carried out to re-map the site, this was only able to show what remained in place at the time and was a limited resource, so it was excellent that the originals resurfaced as historic materials were bright together from various archives for inclusion at the new local history centre at The Keep.
Over the years several people have contacted seeking information on individuals remembered at the Rest Garden and seeking their monument or marker, and have been disappointed in their enquiry. Perhaps this new information will help in their search, and if you are of their number, do enquire again