Friday, 2 March 2012

The Henry Brentnall Monument

I don`t know what it says about my powers of observation, but I`ve visited Marlpool Cemetery (Derbyshire, UK) regularly over a period of five years and only recently noticed the Henry Brentnall Monument !

In my defence, it is not far from Donovan Monument and the empty Non-Conformist Chapel, both of which are rather eye-catching.

As you can probably see, the monument is in memory of Henry Brentnall of Dunstead House, Heanor who died 6 March 1866 at the age of 68.

The inscription on one side of the base informs us that the monument "has been raised by some of the numerous admirers of his character and works to perpetuate the memory and recommend the imitation of his many virtues. A patriot, philanthropist and Christian, he devoted himself for nearly fifty years with self-denying energy and undeviating perseverance to the improvement and education of the young. "

The inscription closes with the words "He, being dead, yet speaketh". I should be interested to see the reaction of visitors to the cemetery if he, being dead,  did indeed speak ! However, that`s just my typically English irreverence, I presume it means his example lives on.

On the other two sides of the base are listed the names of close family members who died subsequently, which may be of interest to genealogists. I seem to recall a wife, Mary, and a daughter, Mary Anne, but be warned that my memory is not infallible.

I understand that some modern-day Brentnalls may wish to visit the monument, so I am including rather more pictures than are strictly necessary, to make it easy to find. As you can see, it is adjacent to the empty non-conformist chapel, only a yard or two from the distinctive hand-carved 18th century headstone (which pre-dates the rest of the cemetery), and not far from the Donovan Monument (see previous postings).

The cemetery is on Ilkeston Road between Heanor and Ilkeston, with the nearest landmarks being Heanor Fire Station and Heanor Memorial Hospital. It is run by Amber Valley Borough council and the nearest local history groups are Heanor and District Local History Society, Ilkeston and District LHS and Langley Mill Heritage Group. 

It is not a large cemetery and the Chapel, which is next to the Garden of Remembrance,  is the only building on the site apart from some workmen`s sheds. If you can find the cemetery you can find the Chapel, it`s that easy !

For anyone contemplating a longish journey and wanting to make a day of it, the cemetery is well-placed for access to Heanor Town Centre and to Shipley Country Park. The Erewash Canal is not too far away, on the far side of Langley Mill. 

That`s all I have time for now.

I will provide all of these details to Gerry at for him to add to his mailings.

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