The Friends of Throapham Church have recently received funding from South Yorkshire Community Foundation which has enabled a group of volunteers to start clearing and cleaning up the graveyard round this Anglo-Saxon church which is run by the Churches Conservation Trust. They have also had the backing of the Parochial Church Council for the church.
They started work this last weekend clearing some of the brushwood and also the massive amounts of ivy which has run rampant round the graveyard. Imagine their surprise when the first thing they found was an ancient table tomb still in existence (many have been removed from graveyards). The next find was a large C18th gravestone where we didn’t expect there were any graves, it was covered by years of growth of grass over the top. The next finds were a chest tomb and even larger table tomb which is richly decorated on the ends and is very rare for our area of the county. Many people do not realise that this graveyard was where the early miners who worked (some of whom were killed) at Dinnington Mine were buried, the first one who was recorded in the register was Moses Wright aged 44 who was buried on the 9th December 1904.
There are many people from Thurcroft, Laughton, Firbeck, Letwell also buried there and also one of the Athorpes who were Lords of the Manor of Dinnington, and many of the owners of the ancient Manor of Throapham. There are also three War Graves in the Cemetery, at least one from the First World War. As this was the first day at the graveyard we do not know what else we will find when we continue, we do know there is a railed tomb still to clear. The Parish Registers record the history of the local area from the C16th and the new growth at Dinnington because of the opening up of the Colliery.
If anyone is interested in joining the group or willing to donate to our work please contact Pam Cook 01909 732485 in the first instance. If you cannot work you could help by making tea and coffee for the workers or help in the church dusting etc. or at our open days throughout the summer.
By Pam Cook (Friends of Throapham Church)