New phase in Witham’s cemetery restoration project by Gib Heritage Trust

New phase in Witham’s cemetery restoration project by Gib Heritage Trust

Restoration works at Witham’s Cemetery is one of the main projects undertaken by volunteers of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust.

Since October last year volunteers have been helping out in the removal of rubbish and rubble from the area and putting back together the many broken head stones. The works which are being carried out in three phases is moving to the restoration of the tombs many of which are beyond repair.

Leading on this volunteer project is Vice- Chairman of the Trust Dr Keith Farrell who emphasises the significance of Witham’s Cemetery as it once was the burial site of many of the British establishment figures of Gibraltar and their families in the first half of the 19th century. Recently, it was discovered that one of the dilapidated tombs belonged to the first editor the Gibraltar Chronicle.

“We are understanding the cemetery a lot better now and discovering some graves that have been completely hidden because of the amount of earth that have completely accumulated over the generations,” he says.

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The work, adds, has now gone from path clearance, delineation and removal of weeds to working on the individual graves.

“We are trying to conserve some of the graves rather than trying to restore them because some of the graves are too far gone. The aim is to not allow them to deteriorate further and have a dignified looking grave for the people who are buried here,” he says.

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