Colman Carrow Abbey pet graves are Grade II listed Norwich


4:23 PM March 23, 2022

5:28 PM March 23, 2022

It is one of the main development sites in the city.

The land around Carrow Works is about to be transformed into a bustling new neighborhood of luxury riverside apartments, gleaming offices and landscaped green spaces.

But when the project finally takes shape, there’s also likely to be a slightly more unusual feature at its heart…a Victorian pet cemetery.

The cemetery – which was created by the Colman family when they lived there – is one of several places on the site to have been listed by heritage experts.

This means the developers will have to take this into account as part of their multi-million pound regeneration of the area.

The cemetery contains a total of 19 graves containing the remains of animals – all believed to be dogs – which were buried by the Colmans, who were great animal lovers.

They were built between 1891 and 1922, against a flint rubble wall thought to be the original wall of the Carrow Priory compound – which once stood on the site – dating from the medieval period.

Among those commemorated in the cemetery are Laddie, Leo, Duke, John, Little John, Jim, Jack, Chappie, Chris, Jock, Snippet, Don, Jo and Rufus.

Jeremiah James Colman.
– Credit: Archant

The graves have been given special heritage protection by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport after Historic England carried out a review of several sites linked to the mustard industry from Colman to Carrow and Trowse.

Norwich City Council has requested the review as the land is earmarked for development, part of a massive £653million scheme known as the East Norwich Masterplan.

Historic England described the monuments as an “unusual example of a private pet cemetery” and “an illustration of the attitude of the Colman family towards their pets and social attitudes towards animals from the late to early 19th century. of the 20th century”.

The graves are about 40m west of Carrow Abbey and most of the pets’ names remain legible. All received Grade II status.

Historical maps show a winding path from the gardens that passed the tombs so that family members and visitors could walk through them regularly.

Carrow Abbey in Norwich.

Carrow Abbey in Norwich.
– Credit: submitted

Pet Pioneers

Pet cemeteries began to be established in the mid-19th century, with a public pet cemetery in Hyde Park, London dating back to the 1860s.

Landowners, like the Colmans, tended to bury their pets on their private land. Any development on the site will have to take the tombs into account.

Other features around Carrow and Trowse have also recently been listed, including Carrow House Conservatory, Trowse Railway Station and Trowse Wastewater Pumping Station.

Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council’s cabinet member for inclusive and sustainable growth, said the listings showed how important the area was to Norwich’s heritage, which the emerging master plan would respect.


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