No.24 - Needle Monument
Head towards the Great War Memorial
but at the fork to the right you will see
a needle monument with the name Painton on the base.
The monument commemorates the Burial Board and was originally situated
on the central circle on a raised mound. This mound is now no longer evident
but the postcards of the Surf Boat memorial do sometimes show it. It was a
very fashionable feature in Victorian times, a much grander version is still
very evident as you pass Canterbury’s Dane John Gardens.
Burial Board’s meeting of September 17th 1892 decided to allow a mound of
12 feet in height with sidewalks around the top. The following meeting
received a plan from Mr John Duckett who offered to provide at his own
expense a Portland Stone monument pedestal surmounted by an obelisk to be
placed on top of the mound, the pedestal to carry on its four faces the
1. To commemorate the long and valuable
service rendered to the Margate Burial Board
by Samuel J. Pointon, J.P., who has been
Chairman for 23 years.
(note that on site
the actual inscription reads ‘was Chairman for
25 years’, perhaps indicating that the obelisk
was not installed for at least two years after
being agreed and that Mr Pointon was now
no longer Chairman.)
2. The first portion of the Cemetery containing
eight acres with 8,500 grave spaces was
opened in 1856.
3. This Cemetery was enlarged by an addition
of ten acres with 11,500 grave spaces in 1892.
4. This monument was presented to the Burial
Board by John Duckett in 1892.
It is suspected that the mound was made from chalk left surplus from grave
digging. (The removal of laid down material such as chalk creates a regular
surplus of material which is not needed when graves are filled and is now
removed once or twice a year. Many old churchyards or cemeteries did not do
this and the material is often accumulated in corners or against walls and is
the reason why levels sometimes seem to be very different from outside to
inside some sites.)
No mention of the mound seems to be found until 1902 when ‘John Pharos’ in
his column in the Gazette criticises the Corporation for letting the Cemetery
go wild due to them not employing enough gardeners and he specifically
mentions the mound being taken over by weeds.
It is next mentioned in
December 1908, when the Burial Board advertise in the Gazette for tenders to
remove it. Tenders received in the January resulted in a Mr Todd being offered
the work for the sum of £9, very reasonable for moving what is calculated at
around 45 cubic yards of spoil! The site then became vacant and a logical place
for the Great War Cross that stands there today.
Continue towards the War Memorial and then over in the direction of the main
gates to the Cemetery from Manston Road but this entrance being beside the
Cemetery Lodge (This is a Private dwelling now and not used for the
Cemetery staff.) Just before the gates, as you approach the paths coming from
right and left, turn to your right and look for a grave next to the path with the
name SAUER in capitals on a kerbstone. Once you have found this look three
graves behind it and you will see the Grave of George Augustus Cleveland.