As part of Timothy Taylor's commitment to our local community, we are very proud to be the new partner sponsor of the Dockroyd Graveyard Trust.
The Dockroyd Graveyard Trust was formed in January 2020 in order to assist in the restoration, preservation, improvement, maintenance, and conservation of Dockroyd Graveyard. It also aims to advance education and an understanding of the history and heritage of the graveyard.
The Trustees (L-R): Roger Laird with Bob the dog, John Sugden, Jean Sugden, Stuart Sharp, and Andrew Heaton (John Shires not pictured).
Dockroyd Graveyard is the former Wesleyan Methodist Burial ground in Oakworth, West Yorkshire. The first burial in 1844 was a one year old boy, Thomas Ickeringill, and the last was 70-year-old Mabel Falkingham in 1969. In between more than 2,500 people were buried there, of which 572 are children under the age of five.
There are at least 770 graves. More than half are not recorded on a headstone and conversely there are many remembered on a headstone but not buried there. There are around 350 headstones or grave markers, many of which are double or multiple graves. In addition there are many unmarked graves that have required a forensic examination of the burial records to discover their whereabouts and occupants.
Photograph showing the state of the graveyard, before and after the restoration work.
Following its formal closure the graveyard slid into decline, overrun with self-seeded trees, ivy and brambles. The Church unexplainably sold it in 2006 to a property developer who in cutting down trees demolished many of the headstones. His actions caused considerable damage and legal problems which were finally overcome when Andrew Heaton purchased the graveyard as a private individual. The intention was to restore the graveyard, secure its future and hand over to the local community. With this in mind Dockroyd Graveyard Trust was formed in 2020, with Andrew Heaton as Chairman.
Each headstone that has been painstakingly uncovered and restored within the graveyard reveals a story. A story of some of the key figures within the Keighley area, fragments of our shared history.
For instance, in the photo above is our Senior Brand Manager, Scott Cameron, stood alongside Trustee Stuart Sharp. Between them is the memorial of Stuart’s great grandfather, William Sharp, who’s family was involved in the building work at our Knowle Spring brewery site.
Timothy Taylor's is committed to supporting the Trust through awareness, promotion, and we have also sponsored their upcoming handbook, which will be available early 2024.
If you'd like to find out more about the Trust, or are interested in volunteering, we've included some handy links below.