In this section we intend to provide information of interest to general and family historians alike. There is no substitute for seeing the real thing and we would encourage you to visit our church in person it is well worth the detour! You will find sections below on the history of the church and one, of particular interest to family historians, on the graveyard and associated monuments. A plan of the churchyard is also given.
Section in preparation
The following information has been collated and written by William Sommerville in June 2005.
Various records are available showing the names, dates and monuments in the churchyard.
1. The Burial Registers. These are the official registers kept by the Rector of all funerals, and burials and interments in the churchyard. The current register dates from 1950. Earlier registers are kept in Truro, and copies are in the Village archives. These record burials in the Churchyard and in the Church itself from 1539.
In the Middle Ages people were buried on the south side of the church, as the north side where the church casts its shadow was considered unlucky. Coffins were rare and graves would have been marked by a wooden board, if at all. In the 18th century burials had to be in a woollen cloth to help the cloth trade (e.g. "All ye persons above written were buried in woollen only according to act of Parliament as appears in ye Affidavits" - a note at the end of the entries for 1724). The same spaces in the graveyard were used many times over. The earliest existing stone monument in the churchyard is Jone Trehane (S.543).
Up to 1782 the records only give the name and date of burial, with no location of the grave. From 1782 to 1812 more information is given, including age, marital status, names of parents, cause of death, and an indication of the location of the grave e.g. "Opposite ye chancel" or "SW of tower". In the register from 1813 to 1909 only name, abode, date and age are given, but from 1910 the graves are numbered and located for the first time.
2. The sextonís record book. This book covers the sextonís records from 1910 to 2000. There have been 5 sextons over this period:
Edward Dingle 1910 - 1950
Sid White 1948 - 1967
Norman Dingle 1964 - 1966
Sam Philp 1964 - 1992
Richard Dawe 1992 - 2000
These records give the name, age, date and grave number, and whether it has been dug as a single or double grave. The sexton used different pages for different areas of the graveyard, so the records are not all in chronological order.
3. A Card index. This was prepared in about 1984 by Mr. Hayden for the Rector, Revd. Terry Fuller. It recorded the inscriptions on all the visible monuments then in the Churchyard. These records used a different numbering system from the Burial registers, and only recorded those graves with a monument.
The churchyard has been divided into seven areas (see Plan below) :
1. Meadow Ground. This covers the area north and east of the church, in which most of the headstones have been moved. These number from M.001 to M.226.
2. South Ground. This area south of the church contains old graves, some of whose headstones have been moved. They are given the prefix "S" and number from S.483 to S.615.
3. West Ground. This covers the area west of the church tower where most of the headstones have been moved. They are numbered W.616 to W.660.
4. East Ground. This is the area opened in 1909 with 10 rows of graves, numbered in the Burial Register and the sextonís record book. The grave numbers are given the prefix "E" and number from E.001 to E.340.
5. New Ground. This area was opened in 1955, and the 8 rows of graves are again as numbered in the Burial Register and the sextonís record book. They are given the prefix "N" and number N.001 to N.192.
6. Top Ground. This is the area currently being used, north of the New Ground, and was started in 2000. The numbers have the prefix "T" and currently number from T.001.
7. Cremation Plots. These plots have been in use since 1962 in parallel with burial plots in the New Ground and Top Ground. At present the plots are alongside the Old Rectory path and south of the church tower. Some were numbered in the Burial Register but most were not. They are now numbered and given the prefix "C" and currently run from C.001.
All of the available records have been included in this survey (Follow this link), and are listed here under Surname for the whole churchyard. Each record contains:
Age at death
Date of death
Memorial, if any.*
* Memorials are given a code letter as follows:
B Flower box with inscription
C Cremation stone
F Stone laid or lying flat
G Grave with rectangle of kerbs
GX Grave as above with cross
GH Grave as above with headstone or book
H Headstone or book alone
h Headstone moved
K Kerbstones with inscriptions, laid together side by side
KX Kerbstones as above with cross
KP Kerbstones as above with book on plinth
PX Plinth with cross
The plan of the churchyard is on display in the church and is reproduced here. The various areas of the graveyard are shown and each area is hyperlinked to a more detailed plan of that particular area. To ensure clarity of the grave numbering, it has been necessary to have fairly large files. Consequently they may take a while to download. Use your scroll bars to move around the plans. Navigation back is best done using your browser 'back' button.