Selby Civic Society today held a ceremony in the Cholera Burial Ground to dedicate a new memorial stone to the memory of the victims of the 1848/1849 cholera epidemic.
55000 died in England and Wales with more than 100 people dying in the Selby area. Millgate, Micklegate, Ousegate, Finkle Street and the Workhouse residents were particularly hard hit. A nearby information plaque reports that a relief committee at the time visited hundreds of houses and provided essential supplies to 358 families.
Unable to bury the victims in the overused Selby Abbey Church graveyard, many were interred in the land opposite the North Gate of the Abbey.
Following this devastating water-borne outbreak, measures were put in place to provide piped water to houses and the decaying sewage and drainage systems in the town were extensively renovated.
The new stone, commissioned by Selby Civic Society and supplied by J E Burns Monumental Masons, replaces a damaged stone previously installed by the Society in 1995. Finance for the new memorial was generously granted by Selby’s Central “Community Engagement Forum, CEF”.The event was attended by Civic Society Chairman Michael Dyson and members, Councillor Ian Chilvers, Chair of the CEF and The Reverend Canon John Weetman, Vicar of Selby Abbey, who performed the dedication ceremony after which a commemorative wreath was laid.