St Mary’s Churchyard

St Mary's Churchyard

We are very fortunate to have a large churchyard around our beautiful church of St. Mary’s.  Burials have been taking place there since the 1500’s and some facts about the churchyard are below.  Please feel free to visit the churchyard and enjoy the views over to Northala Fields from the top of the hill where St. Mary’s church stands.  St. Mary’s church is open every Sunday for 10am communion service.

Number of plots

The churchyard contains nearly 700 plots which is divided into 6 sections. However, there are over 1400 memorials (as the majority of memorials are dedicated to more than one person).  The plots are a mix of graves and interment  of ashes.


A transcription of the memorials in St. Mary’s church and churchyard took place in the mid 1990’s following a break in where a safe containing the registers from the 1940’s to mid 1990’s was stolen and never recovered.  The transcription records from that time were not digitalised so all these records, and the additional burials, interments and changes to memorials that have taken place since that date have now been added to a database, and graves plotted, to allow ease of searching.  Our records show the plot number, description of the memorial and inscription on the memorials.


The oldest gravestone that can be found in the churchyard is dated 1664 (shown left). There are also several other gravestones from between 1750 and 1796.  Original records showed burials took place from the 1500’s but these were sent to archives in the past, so we do not have those records, and the plots can no longer be seen in the churchyard.  The oldest memorial within St. Mary’s church is dated 1560.

There are so many interesting graves and a lot of history in our churchyard, including 15 war graves from World War II – the youngest fallen soldier was only 19 years old and the oldest fallen soldier was 42.  There are also 2 graves of previous rectors of St. Mary’s, a previous school master (when the memorial hall was a school), an organist of St. Mary’s and a famous comedian!