The Churchyard

The Churchyard may be entered by the Lych Gate which is thought to be the oldest in the country.

Under the gate the lych, or corpse, waited for the priest to arrive. Look up under the roof for the plaques which give information about its date and its restoration.

One of the oldest gravestones may be seen on the east side of the path to the south porch. It is probably dated 1697 and reads “All you that pass by behold and see even as we are now so you must be”. The carving includes a winged hourglass reminding people time flies; a skull and two cross-bones; a spade and pick axed crossed; two arrows crossed. Crossed items indicate an end or completion. Many interesting inscriptions may be found and the various different designs give an indication of their date. Some memorials were lost when the Victorian building was erected and the earliest remaining stones are found near to the building on the south and north side. Although the church yard was closed in August 1892, by order of Queen Victoria having taken the advice of her Privy Council, certain exceptions included the burial of family members in existing graves.

The church holds records of the memorials which can be referred to for “family tree” enquiries.