All Saints’ churchyard may go back a thousand years to the church’s Saxon predecessor, and holds around 5000 known graves. Nowadays it covers more than four acres, has a wide variety of trees and plants and is cris-crossed by paths linking parts of the village to the High Street. In 2006 it was closed to new burials by Order in Council, but it is still possible to be buried in the existing grave of a close family member and cremated ashes may be interred (see the Funerals page for details of fees, etc. for this).
The churchyard suffered some bomb damage in World War II, including damage to a chapel of rest to the north-west of the church, which had to be demolished. Where it stood a small walled Garden of Remembrance was created, a place of peace and tranquility. Here ashes may be interred without marker; in our new memorial garden in the churchyard’s eastern end a memorial stone can be placed to mark the site of a loved one’s ashes.
A visitor will easily spot several old chest tombs, including two which are Grade II listed – the 18th-century Wilmot family tomb just south of the church, and the 19th-century tomb of Sir Henry Muggeridge to the west of the church. There is also a substantial War Memorial cross with WWI names inscribed round the base, and a number of war graves in the distinctive style of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Maintaining the churchyard, with its numerous graves, trees and shrubs, and grass is very costly to the church, both in terms of money and of labour – our congregation struggles to provide enough volunteers to undertake regular gardening. We welcome everybody who is willing to help – just contact the Parish Office (01737 379289).
Do you want to discover an ancestral grave? We would like to help (contact the Parish Office) but if our staff have to spend much time searching the records or the churchyard itself we do charge a fee (up to £40). But you are very welcome to come and walk round the whole area yourself.