This was the main cemetery for Reading during the second half of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Many of those who lived or had businesses in Katesgrove were buried here, such as the Barretts and Andrewes families of the Reading Ironworks.
The cemetery was laid out in the 1840s and divided into two sections; one was for anglicans and was consecrated, the other was for dissenters including methodists, congregationalists and baptists. There were also two chapels, but neither of these survive.
The graves of John Philbrick, of Philbrick’s tannery on Katesgrove Lane, and his wife Eliza are both in the anglican part of the cemetery near the north wall.
Eliza Philbrick died in 1850 at the age of 43 and her gravestone has the inscription:
TO THE MEMORY OF
THE LAMENTED WIFE OF JOHN PHILBRICK
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE IN PEACE
16 NOVEMBER 1850
AGED 43 YEARS
THOU SHALT WEEP NO MORE HE WILL BE VERY GRACIOUS
UNTO THEE AT THE VOICE OF THY CRY WHEN HE
SHALL HEAR IT HE WILL ANSWER THEE
FOR IF WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN
EVEN SO THEM ALSO WHICH SLEEP IN JESUS
WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM
The verses are from Isaiah chapter 30, verse 19 and 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, verse 14 of the St James’s Bible.
John Philbrick’s inscription is much simpler:
TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN PHILBRICK
JANUARY 15TH 1865
AGED 60 YEARS
After John Philbrick’s death the tannery business continued under the management of his sons, Charles and George Philbrick and became C & G Philbrick.
- Reading Old Cemetery gets a Spring Clean
- Smells of Katesgrove – Philbrick’s Tannery
- Rutherford Sarah, Paradise Regained in Reading
- Historic England Listing entry for Reading Cemetery (1001641).