If you've come here looking for my taphophile and graveyard posts, they can now be found at my new blog, Beneath Thy Feet. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Taphophile Tragics - Grinsted, Death Of An Empire

Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries. The singular term is a taphophile.

Angel monument to Charles Grinsted, Daisy Grinsted and Agnes Sarah Grinsted.  All Saint's Cemetery, Maidenhead Berkshire.

"In Ever Loving Memory of -

Charles Grinsted who passed away December 12th 1928 aged 65 years
Also Daisy, his daughter who died October 6th 1908 aged 12 years
Also his beloved wife Agnes Sarah, died Oct 7th 1935 aged 71 years."

Charles Grinsted was born in 1863 in Mile End, Old Town, London to Thomas Place Grinsted and his wife Emma Shakel.  Some time between 1881 and 1891 Charles married Agnes Sarah Bushell and followed in his father's fishmonger footsteps by opening a fishmongers shop at 2 King Street Maidenhead.  Eventually branching out into 4, 6 and 8 King Street.

Their fifth child and fourth daughter Daisy was born at 2 King Street in 1897, sadly she was to die at the age of 12 in 1908.

Charles continued to build his mini empire to become a bookmaker and licensed game dealer until his death in the December of 1928.  Agnes remained at 4 King Street along with her daughter Lily, Lily's husband Freddie Cook and their daughter Norah (who was born on the kitchen table of number 4 King Street on 9th July 1911) until her death in October 1935.  Lily, Freddie and Norah carried on the family business, adding butchery to their skills, until the 1950s when Windsor and Maidenhead Council compulsorily purchased the King Street shops and demolished them to make way for the New Market development.  Norah moved to The Crescent, Maidenhead.

King Street Maidenhead c1950

Sadly Norah Cook passed away on 14th March 2011, just months shy of her 100th birthday.  The last remaining grandchild of Charles and Agnes Grinsted, bringing an end to the empire. 

Norah's Obituary can be found here - The Maidenhead Advertiser:  Obituary: Fun-loving Maidonian, 99, was last granddaughter in dynasty.

For more Taphophile Tragics please click here.


  1. A fascinating insight into an enterprising family!

  2. Looks like quite a bit of the punters money went on the gravestone, very elaborate! Interesting family history.

  3. I love to hear about fun loving 99 year olds! Gives a bit of inspiration and hope for the rest of us.

  4. Very interesting post complemented by some great photos.

  5. From humble beginnings... Lovely monochromes, Nicola.

  6. I love her sitting there with her glass of champers! I agree, it makes one perk up a bit to hear of a fun-loving centenarian.

    I do like the name Daisy Grinsted. There is a bit of Fitzgerald there, before his time.

    The mason work in the headstone is magnificent. I do hope there are flowers or greenery of some sort scattered in and around. It sort of deserves it.

    Thanks for this contribution, Nicola. And thank you also for the many comments I see from you as I make my rounds this cold, wet, and miserable Thursday here in Sydney. I do appreciate your visiting everyone who participates.


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