NOSTALGIA: Church of St Mary the Virgin and graveyard, Culford – from the Spanton Jarman collection

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Culford. From the Spanton Jarman collection ANL-160915-125834001
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Culford. From the Spanton Jarman collection ANL-160915-125834001

The two large white tombs in the churchyard at St Mary’s are the graves of the Rev E R Benyon’s well-known and respected gardener and author, Peter Grieve (died 1895 aged 83), famous breeder of zonal pelargonium – commonly known as geraniums – and his wife, Ann (died 1907 aged 85).

Mr Grieve was head gardener at Culford from 1847 to 1880. He was born in Berwickshire in 1812 and apprenticed at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.

-- This picture is part of a remarkable collection of 4,000 photographs in the care of Bury St Edmunds Past and Present Society which offers a glimpse into the town’s history.

Taken by two families of professional photographers, the Spantons and the Jarmans, the images span a period from the 1860s through to the outbreak of World War Two. The fragile glass plate negatives were donated to the society in 1997 and in recent years many of these have been ‘digitised’ thanks to a Lottery grant and donations - a further £2,000 is needed to complete the task. They can be viewed at www.burypastandpresent.org.uk where you can also find details about membership and the group’s programme of events and lectures. The Spanton-Jarman collection is held at the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Suffolk Record Office. For more details about the Record Office, including its programme of talks and courses, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/sro.