Piece of Kenilworth's history getting makeover after vandalism

Jenny Ireland with Henry Ison and Sons Funeral Directors of Kenilworth, Town Cllr Kate Dickson, local historian Graham Gould and Guy Wright, with stonemason G H Davies & Son.
Jenny Ireland with Henry Ison and Sons Funeral Directors of Kenilworth, Town Cllr Kate Dickson, local historian Graham Gould and Guy Wright, with stonemason G H Davies & Son.

A Kenilworth funeral directors is giving a piece of Kenilworth's history a complete makeover after it was recently vandalised.

A memorial known as Betsy's Grave was removed Thursday (August 15) by workers with the Kenilworth branch of the Henry Ison and Sons funeral directors in order for the work to be completed.

Betsy's grave, a mound of sandstone on the grass verge in Warwick Road, was left with chunks of stone missing and appeared to have been shifted from its place after it was vandalised earlier this year in April.

Funeral Arranger Jenny Ireland, with the Kenilworth branch of Henry Ison and Sons, has asked their stonemason G H Davies & Son to do the repair work.

Jenny said: “It's part of the local community and the history of Kenilworth. I think it's very important the deceased are looked after properly."

The funeral directors offered to help after Kenilworth residents expressed their concerns about the memorial to Kenilworth Town Cllr Kate Dickson and local historian Graham Gould.

Cllr Dickson said: " I am delighted that Isons are able to maintain this historic stone. It’s important to keep links with the past for future generations and we’re thankful Henry Ison & Sons stepped in to support our local community.”

The stone is expected to be away for about a week before it's returned from its makeover.

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

Mr Gould had been campaigning for the plaque in 2010 before one was installed. The plaque was donated a year later by Henry Isons and Sons funeral directors. Mr Gould was raised, with many of his peers, to believe it was the grave of a pauper who lived in the 1600s called Betsy.

The stone also marks the old boundary of Kenilworth.

Read More: The story behind the piece of sandstone on Warwick Road, Kenilworth

Mr Gould said: “We’re losing so much heritage in Kenilworth to new projects and planning permissions.

“Henry Ison & Sons saw we were raising awareness for Betsy’s Grave and said they’d fix it and pay for it. I’m delighted.”