Graves ‘lost’ for years are found

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HISTORIC graves hidden for decades have been discovered by volunteer bramble hackers at Newport Pagnell churchyard.

Now the forgotten chunk of history is finally on display after two months spent cutting away thick ivy and thorny bushes.

Armed with the secateurs were members of the Newport Pagnell Partnership Parks and Gardens Working Group.

They decided to tackle the badly overgrown area of the old cemetery at St Peter and St Paul parish church without a clue what they would find.

“The area was completely covered and we didn’t know what would be underneath,” said member Joan Sidebottom.

Over the weeks, 21 graves were found and each one painstakingly cleared.

All the graves date back to the 1800s and belong to old Newport Pagnell families.

The most interesting was a grave surrounded by rare wrought iron railings from the middle of the 19th century.

The faded inscription is a memorial to two children from the town’s historic Odell family.

They are the daughters of John Odell, who founded the former ironmongers in the High Street, and his wife Harriet.

The first child, Kate, died in 1861 at the age of just one month.

Tragically in 1864 she was followed by her sister Annie, who died at the age of four.

“This is an important part of the town’s history and it is good that it has been uncovered at last,” said a spokesman for the Newport Pagnell Partnership.

The partnership comprises people from local organisations who work together for the benefit of the town.