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Latitude: 53.6938 / 53°41'37"N
Longitude: -2.29 / 2°17'23"W
OS Eastings: 380948
OS Northings: 421964
OS Grid: SD809219
Mapcode National: GBR DTGQ.0M
Mapcode Global: WH97B.SFQ4
Entry Name: Gravestone in the Grounds of Carr House
Listing Date: 27 June 2011
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1401015
Location: Rossendale, Lancashire, BB4
Electoral Ward/Division: Longholme
Parish: Non Civil Parish
Built-Up Area: Rawtenstall
Traditional County: Lancashire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire
Church of England Parish: Rawtenstall St Mary
Church of England Diocese: Manchester
A C18 gravestone recording the burial of Richard Ashworth located in the front garden of Carr House in Rossendale
MATERIALS: Local sandstone.
PLAN: It is laid flat and aligned north-south.
DESCRIPTION: The gravestone is a smooth sawn local sandstone slab aligned north-south and located in the front garden of Carr House. It lies within an area of shrubbery and is approached from the east along a path of crazy paving. It is lying flat and is set slightly below the level of the surrounding ground surface. There is a crudely carved skull and crossbones motif at the head of the gravestone. The inscription has been executed in large thin lettering and reads: 'The Remains of Richard Ashworth / Here rest in Hope / He was born Feb 22 1677 / Died May 28 1751'.
This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 01/07/2011
This gravestone is one of a group of four located in a relatively discrete area within Rossendale and set on private land away from communal burial grounds. While they may have been repositioned, they are each believed to remain in the vicinity of their original locations. This gravestone lies in the front garden of Carr House on Lomas Lane and records the burial of Richard Ashworth who died in 1751. He was a Baptist minister. His son, also called Richard, was a trustee for the property of one James Haworth who died in 1772 and whose gravestone is also one of this group of four. Another of James Haworth's trustees was Thomas Haworth who died in 1800 and whose gravestone also forms one of this group. Thomas Haworth's son-in-law was witness to James Ormerod's will. Ormerod died in 1817 and his gravestone is the fourth one of this group. James Ormerod was trustee for the will of James Haworth's son, also called James, and at is suggested that this web of legal ties represents a bond of trust and community of interest between the individuals across generations, and may suggest that all four individuals whose gravestones are in Rossendale were Baptists.
Rossendale's social and economic development, and history of non conformity, provided a backdrop to the burials. The area was settled on land parcelled out to copyhold tenants in the C16 and C17 and the surviving distinctive pattern of farm holdings and enclosure with stone walls that remain visible in the upland areas around Rossendale date from this period.
The first Baptist meeting house in the area was built at Goodshaw in about 1685 and this was superseded by the building of what is now the Grade II* listed Old Baptist Chapel in Goodshaw in 1760. Despite the presence of a well-established burial ground at Goodshaw, the setting of these four burials on private land would appear to have been a matter of choice by the individuals or their families and the sites of these burials appear from the records to have been the family property of the deceased. It is suggested that the individuals concerned represent a local tradition of middle class property owners who shared religious beliefs and had strong family ties and links to local land holding.
Whilst many early non-conformist burial grounds were established during the Commonwealth (1649-60), a system of laissez-faire existed after the Restoration in 1660 regarding the locations of non-conformist burials which continued until the Burial Acts of 1857 and 1880. In essence this meant that it was not unknown for the bodies of non-conformists to be deposited in an unauthorised place of burial until the introduction of the Burial Acts in the latter half of the C19. Whilst it is impossible to estimate accurately how many 'random' burials there might be, it is reasonable to assume that there may have been hundreds nationally rather than thousands.
This gravestone and the three other isolated gravestones in the Rossendale area may represent the burials of Strict & Particular Baptists who took the notion of "come out from them, and be separate from them...and I will welcome you" (2 Corinthians. 6:17) even as far as burial.
This C18 gravestone recording the burial of Richard Ashworth located in the front garden of Carr House in Rossendale is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* History: It is one of a group of four isolated gravestones marking C18 and C19 non-conformist burials within the Rossendale valley and attests to the strong non-conformist background of this area throughout the last five centuries.
* Rarity: Isolated and small groups of isolated non-conformist burials are considered to be rare nationally.
Other nearby listed buildings