“EVANS THE BOAT” -THE EXTRAORDINARY FIND OF A MISSING MEMORIAL

There can be few occasions over the recent months where I can honestly say that I have been “overjoyed” but today is one of those days. Why? I hear you ask, because of the discovery of a long lost gravestone of such a size that I thought it impossible it ever existed let alone survive. That all changed this week when our trusty contractor Richard Holmes brought to the surface, the memorial of the EVANS Family and in particular that of “EVANS THE BOAT” as he was affectionately known. The Boat and Anchor was a popular hostelry in Priory Street in the middle of the nineteenth century long since passed into history. Unbelievably this entire memorial had sunk into the ground to such a depth that it had disappeared altogether, so much so that in 1977 when the survey of memorials took place, it was never even mentioned due to the fact that it was below the surface. The memorial can be seen to the left of the photograph and you will also notice the extensive ground restoration work that continues to be undertaken.

The stone covered tomb can be seen on the left of the photograph

Some months ago however, prior to the pandemic it was noticed that some form of memorial had been discovered just under the surface with some writing on it and originally it was thought it it was a piece of a broken memorial. It became clear however that after some soil removal it was much more than a broken piece of memorial and after further digging it became apparent that it was a rare “hipped stone memorial” meaning that all the sides sloped downwards. Only three of this type of gravestone exist in the entire cemetery. What was more, the inscription is entirely in Welsh. Two sides of the memorial have inscriptions . The memorial is certainly of considerable historic, social and cultural importance.

One side of the memorial

At least now, four more names can be added to the list on the database  and the location of the memorial added to the memorial database plan. All this work of repositioning the gravestone was carried out as usual very sensitively and with great care by Richard Holmes and whilst it inevitably has some scratches I will take great pride in cleaning it up in the coming week and it will look really good I am sure. Once again a family is remembered and is no longer forgotten. May they rest in peace. I am grateful to Trustee Dr Huw Michael for providing the translation.

Richard Goodridge ( Chairman of the Thomas & Elizabeth Mayhook Charity)

 

A further inscription on the other side.
The complete memorial above ground again in over 50 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is a translation of the inscriptions.

In Memory of

David Evans Boat and Anchor of this town

Born Sept 9,  1848, Died June 4 1880

Also, Sarah Evans

Died 10 sept 1900 aged 63

In Memory of

Hannah,

Daughter of John and Mary Davies

Gilfach Isaf, parish of Llangeler

Born Jan 21 1822 Died Oct 6 1884

Also Margaret their daughter

Born Jul 28 1826, Died Dec 18, 1886

Therefore keep watch, because you don’t know in what hour your Lord will come.