In 1772, the original proprietors of New Holderness set asked a 4-acre parcel for the construction of a church and cemetery. The prevailing belief at the time was that this area would become the business and social center of the developing town.
At the 1773 town meeting it was voted to establish the first public cemetery to consist of two acres within the reserved plot. As other cemeteries were created within town where the population had spread, Church Hill Cemetery fell into disuse. Although the expansion of the town was never realized in this location and the church was never built, the place name of “Church Hill” has endured. The town of Holderness was split in 1868 and the cemetery then fell within the boundaries of newly established Ashland.
The people buried here were among the earliest settlers of what came to be known as Holderness and several were related through marriage. There are two Patriots of the American Revolution: Captain Joseph Shepard and Captain James Cox. Their respective wives, Ester (Cox) Shepard and Catherine Cox are also buried here. The following people are also interred: Charles and Mary Cox who were the first settlers in the Cold Springs area of town, Margaret Hicks, Sarah Clark (age 6), and Louisa Shepard, granddaughter of Captain and Mrs. Shepard and the last person to be buried here. There are several graves identified only with unmarked fieldstones. The names of those with such markers remain unknown at this time.
Pemigewasset Valley Chapter National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 2023.