Tour page 2

We are setting off along the westerly path through many of the Victorian headstones. The Friends received a grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund in March 2015 to help us restore the churchyard. Part of the grant has been spent on seating and the footpath alongside Till Carr Lane but we also wanted to find, tidy and restore all of the memorials to those who died during the World Wars of the 20th century. To your immediate left is a ledger stone remembering Sergeant Christopher Kershaw whilst to your right a Commonwealth War Grave for Gunner J L Brooke  and further over a family headstone, on its back, for Percy Brown who died in Ypres.

We try to reduce substantially such invasive plants as brambles allowing other ‘weeds’ such as nettles and rosebay willow herb to provide a home to many insects, butterflies and moths. Further down the path and to your right, we have roped off two "wild life" areas which will not be cut, allowing these areas to grow naturally. Last year there were many species of bees there, and bumblebees had built themselves some nests. Insects like these are important pollinators and are becoming increasingly scarce. Nettles can support over 40 kinds of insects who, in turn, overwinter & provide early food for ladybirds, blue tits and other woodland birds. In late summer, they produce lots of seeds for other birds, moths & butterflies. But there has to be a balance!

It is well worth pausing in this area on either side of the path to read the headstones, to note the family connections, the ages at which people died and, occasionally, what they did and where they lived. But remember only the wealthy could afford elaborate memorials,  the poor were usually buried in unmarked graves and often very young. However, even among the better off, you will read frequently of infant deaths.

It is worth looking at the images that appear on many of the headstones; an open book representing the bible, clasped hands for friendship, trees of life and angels are just some examples. There is an open book on the right hand side of the path where an open book forms a main part of the grave.

Turn down the cross path to the right. On the immediate left is a headstone dedicated to George Duncan from the Isle of Man which, unusually for this churchyard, has weathered badly and a little further a family grave which remembers Private Edward Schofield who died in France, 1916. A few paces along and a row in is a memorial to the Sharpe family including Edgar who was killed in France in 1917.

This, together with a further 6 memorials to WW1 dead, was restored with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Now please return to the western footpath and Tour point 3.



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The postcode for the churchyard (for sat navs) is HX3 8TH.

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