Meldreth Funeral Bier
The Meldreth Funeral Bier is a specially constructed, hand drawn cart that was used to transport coffins between Meldreth Church and the Fenny Lane Cemetery. According to the minutes of Parish Council meetings, the bier was built by Herbert Gipson from 1921-22. Its construction was ordered by the Parish Council in preparation for the opening of Fenny Lane cemetery.
The churchyard at Meldreth Holy Trinity Church was closed to new burials in February 1907 although several burials took place after that date, including that of John George Mortlock who was buried in January 1917. The first burial in the Fenny Lane cemetery was on May 27th 1922 with burials taking place at Whaddon, Shepreth and Melbourn for the period in between. It is possible that a hand drawn bier was used for these burials although I would have thought it unlikely due to the distance involved.
The bier was stored in a specially constructed shed in Fenny Lane cemetery but has now been moved elsewhere in the village for safekeeping.
Unfortunately, over the years the condition of the bier had deteriorated considerably. However, we are delighted that in 2021 the bier was renovated by Meldreth resident John Morgan, with some assistance from John Richards, also from Meldreth. For more information and photographs please see our page on the Renovation of the Meldreth Funeral Bier. It is our hope that the bier will be permanently homed in Holy Trinity Church.
If you have any memories of the bier or photographs of it being used, please add a comment below or contact us as we would love to hear from you.