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Surveying Raikes Road Burial Ground

Updated: May 22

John Cuthbert, Tony Perry, Bob Moore and Beverley Rymer met up with Jean Robertson on a very wet and cold day in mid-April to start planning the IAG’s Total Station survey of the Raikes Road burial ground in Skipton. The Raikes Road volunteers have made significant progress with restoring graves, managing the vegetation and creating a sketch map of the graves with details of the names where available. They have researched many of the individuals buried there and hold open days during the summer for visitors.


The site has substantial tree cover, very uneven sloping ground and high headstones blocking line of sight; all of which meant the survey would need the Total Station to be recalibrated several times and moved to various positions. We were shown the site, discussed the terrain and methodology and were grateful for the drinks and biscuits provided, as there was little we could do in that weather.

Further visits and experimentation by John, Bob and Tony enabled the team to establish the correct technical settings and work began in earnest in early May. Close liaison with Jean has proven essential to working on site and a team of at least 4 is needed. So far there have been two days of surveying, with Yvonne Luke, Rowan Worsman and Beverley Rymer joining in to practise taking sightings, track the graves surveyed and hold back branches to ensure the reflector and Total Station are visible to each other! Each grave requires two or six measurements in order to record both orientation of the headstone and, sometimes, the position of kerbstones. Given that there are around 190 graves and then other features that require survey, there is still a significant amount of work to be completed.


Beverley Rymer


I can only apologise for wearing the cap back-to-front. I can't look through the Total Station with it on the right way around. I know it looks silly. At least Rowan is dressed sensibly.


John Cuthbert

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