New report: Workhouse Burial Ground

BACAS was invited by friends of Bath Workhouse Burial Ground and Bathscape to carry out a survey of a green field next to the Wellsway, Odd Down, Bath. This land is where 3,192 bodies were buried between 1858 and 1899 in unmarked graves. They were inmates from the Bath Union Workhouse on Frome Road.

The survey was carried out in November 2022. We hoped to identify if there were any signs of burial plots or pits. Although we did not identify the outlines of any pit, we were able to show there were cuts into the bedrock consistent with the use of pits. We were also able to confirm the arrangement of formal paths and the original boundary of the burial ground.

An area of 80m by 60m was surveyed, from just north of the current footpath, to within five metres of the southern wall. It is known that the topsoil was shallow, descending on to Bath stone strata. The original site was contained by stone walls, of which the southern and western survive. Footpaths also crossed it. There was one marked formal grave, that of the chaplain, the Reverend John Scott (d.1865), probably placed at the intersection of the paths.

The report is now available for download.