Car Colston
St Mary

Churchyard

The churchyard of St Mary’s is wedge-shaped, with the church sited at the west end. The north side is bounded by the Car Colston/Flintham Road, to the south by private dwellings, and to the east by open fields and trees. At the north eastern corner is the old Car Colston school house, now a private dwelling owned by the church. A public footpath runs through the Churchyard on the southern side.

The churchyard falls into four sections, the oldest of which is at the south eastern corner. It is partitioned from the rest of the churchyard by a wire fence and allowed to grow wild. It is used intermittently for grazing of a rare breed of sheep owned by a local villager. Predominantly the headstones are slate, many of Swithland, distinguished by unworked backs, with excellent engraved cursive lettering. There are also a number of kerbed graves, some with original chains round. This part is not used for burials, unless there are members of a family buried here, as in the case of the Blagg family. The family is patrons of the church and has a group of headstones in the south eastern corner, the latest dated 2002.

The part of the churchyard to the south is relatively small and quite hummocky with a small number of headstones near the south porch. There is a flat tomb with tablets dedicated to the Hall family, but minus its surrounding railings, by the south edge. Most of the headstones are nineteenth century, some of Swithland slate. Near the porch is the base of a cross, or churchyard crucifix, which formerly stood here.

The north side of the churchyard is, again, very lumpy and the incumbent, David Wakefield, has suggested that there are far more graves in this part than appear. The extant headstones are mostly twentieth century and a mix of styles.

Beyond, in the north east corner, is the area presently in use. This was originally the school playground but not fenced off from the rest of the churchyard. It is the flattest part, and close by the north east corner of the chancel is the oldest headstone that could be ascertained. Of Swithland slate and dedicated to Mary Marriott, it is dated 1738.

The oldest part of the churchyard, to the south-east of the church The part of the churchyard to the north of the church The area of the churchyard currently in use, the north-east corner