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Mason Family Grave Slab in Churchyard of Church of St Mary, Prestwich

Description: Mason Family Grave Slab in Churchyard of Church of St Mary

Grade: II
Date Listed: 21 February 2012
English Heritage Building ID: 1406322

OS Grid Reference: SD8107603667
OS Grid Coordinates: 381076, 403667
Latitude/Longitude: 53.5293, -2.2869

Location: 6 Carmona Drive, Prestwich M25 1AJ

Locality: Prestwich
County: Bury
Country: England
Postcode: M25 1AJ

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Listing Text


Grave slab of John Mason and his family, c1671, continued use by the same family in the C18.

Reason for Listing

The Mason grave slab, c1671, in St Mary's churchyard, Prestwich, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Early date: It is an increasingly rare survival of a C17 grave slab with an original inscription that remains fully legible
* Historic interest: It illustrates the extensive history of the St Mary's churchyard and the original Prestwich-cum-Oldham parish, once one of the largest and wealthiest parishes in the country
* Group value: It has group value with the Grade I listed St Mary's Church and the other listed monuments and structures in the St Mary's churchyard


St Mary's Church, Prestwich, dates to the C14 with later alterations, and the oldest extant grave marker in the churchyard dates to 1641. However, the topography of the churchyard suggests a much older burial ground. The churchyard has been extended many times, including in 1827 when boundary walls were constructed. Prior to these walls being erected the churchyard was enclosed by a ditch and hedge created in 1706, and subsequently by the planting of beech and fir trees in 1763. Further extensions of the churchyard occurred in 1864, 1886, 1924 and 1950.

The western section of the churchyard contains, amongst other graves, the unmarked burials of thousands of inmates of the County Asylum Prestwich dating from the mid-C19 to early-C20, although several communal graves for the asylum's attendants and some inmates are marked by grave slabs. In 1801 a hearse house (altered in the mid-late C20) was constructed to the north of the church.


Sandstone, rectangular grave slab with incised carving including a border. Large incised scroll motif containing a diamond at the foot of the slab. Inscription to the top of the slab in large, widely-spaced lettering reads 'Here Resteth The Body/ of John Mason Who Died/ March The 27 1671'. Further inscription in slightly different lettering reads 'Also Mary his Wife who/ died Aprl the 7th 1680'. Inscription to the centre of the slab reads 'Richard Mason His son/ Who Died janvary The 14th/ 1670'. Two inscriptions below in standard, smaller lettering illustrating re-use by same family in the late C18.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.