Piece of Kenilworth's history badly damaged

A piece of Kenilworth's history has been badly damaged.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 3:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 4:13 pm
'Betsy Smith's grave' has been damaged. Photo submitted.

A mound of sandstone on the grass verge in Warwick Road, which is known as 'Betsy's grave', now has chunks of stone missing and appears to have been shifted from its place.

The stone is believed to mark the grave of a 17th century pauper known as 'Betsy'.

The plaque naming it as Betsy Smith's grave, which is next the stone, was installed in 2011.

'Betsy Smith's grave' has been damaged. Photo submitted.

Historian Graham Gould had been campaigning for the plaque in 2010 before one was installed. The plaque was donated by Henry Isons and Sons funeral directors.

Graham was raised, with many of his peers, to believe it was the grave of a pauper who lived in the 1600s called Betsy.

He campaigned for the plaque as he feared a part of the town's history would be forgotten.

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The story behind the piece of sandstone on Warwick Road, Kenilworth
'Betsy Smith's grave' has been damaged. Photo submitted.

Talking to the Kenilworth Weekly News about the stone in 2010 Graham said: “The stone marks the old boundary of Kenilworth and in old times, if born a pauper in Kenilworth, you’re ownership belonged to the town.

“If you moved into another parish, such as Leek Wootton, you had to get permission from them to take you on, that was called a settlement order.

“If you then moved over and you died, Leek Wootton wouldn’t want to pay for your burial so they’d push you over the edge of the boundary and leave you there.

“Many believe this is what happened to Betsy and she was buried where she was left.”

'Betsy Smith's grave' has been damaged. Photo submitted.