Willenhall History Society

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cholera burial groundThe Cholera Burial Ground is a well maintained garden at the end of Doctors Piece with a plaque which explains the "season of deep and general affliction and alarm". The original plaque still remains in very poor condition but a new plaque was installed recently by the History Society.

The full wording of the plaque is as follows:

THE PARISHOF WILLENHALL

WAS VISITED BY CHOLERA IN 1849.THE FIRST DEATH BY THAT DISEASE TOOK PLACE ON THE 17 TH AUGUST, THE LAST ON 4 TH OCTOBER. IN 49 DAYS 292 PERSONS DIED, THE CHURCHYARD OF ST GILES BEING TOO CROWDED FOR FURTHER INTERMENT, THIS GROUND, A PORTION OF THE CHURCH ESTATE WAS (WHILE YET UNCONSECRATED) FIRST USED FOR BURIALS ON THE FIRST OF SEPTEMBER. ON THREE DAYS THE BURIALS WERE 15 DAILY THE WHOLE NUMBER INTERRED HERE AND IN THE CHURCHYARD BEING 211.

THE DISMAY OF THE PERIOD SUSPENDED THE BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY OF THE TOWN BUT THE WANTS AND SUFFERING OF THE POOR WERE MET AND MITIGATED BY GRATUITOUS DISTRIBUTION OF MEDICINE, BREAD AND MEAT THE FOOD BEING SUPPLIED BY A LIBERAL SUBSCRIPTION IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD LARGELY AIDED BY KIND CONTRIBUTIONS FROM DISTANT PLACES, SENT BY CONGREGATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS TO WHOM THE REPORT OF THE CALAMITY HAD COME. THESE WALLS WERE BUILT BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION AND THIS ENCLOSURE WILL REMAIN A PERPETUAL MEMORIAL OF A SEASON OF DEEP AND GENERAL AFFLICTION AND ALARM.