Hawksworth St Mary and All Saints


View of the churchyard
from the tower
The southern part
of the churchyard

Hawksworth church is in the centre of the village. The churchyard is lozenge shaped with one straight boundary to the south where it is bounded by a high wall. The west side of the churchyard is walled with wrought iron entrance gates which lead to the west entrance of the church and a small gravel and stone path leads from the gates all the way round the church building, rising up a few stone steps to the south side where the ground level is higher. The east side of the churchyard is bounded by the large building that was the rectory, but which is now in private occupation and known as Hawksworth Place.

The north end of the churchyard is bounded by the garden of Hawksworth Place. It was probably reduced in size when a sweeping driveway was created onto Main Road from the rectory when it was enlarged in 1820 to provide a Georgian façade as the main entrance. To the north of this driveway is an old cottage which has always been called Church Cottage and so was probably once associated with the church. A map of 1881 shows this cottage outside the Glebe Lands but the Churchwarden Accounts for 1847 record that the south facing garden of this cottage was transferred from the glebe and incorporated into the rectory gardens by the rector John Storer.

The churchyard is still open and the major part lies to the south of Hawksworth church. Here are various late Georgian and Victorian headstones typical of the district and one large tomb chest for Sarah Simmond who died in 1822 which is shaped like a sarcophagus and is now badly decayed. These lie in the shade of two large trees, a lime and a sycamore. Several slate headstones dating from the 18th century which have been removed from their original graves at some time unknown now lean against the south wall of the church. These are in very fine condition and the earliest dates back to 1728.

To the east of the church there is only space for a single row of 19th century graves and a path between the east chancel wall and the boundary with the former rectory. Here there are graves belonging to the Stubbs and Bayles families who were in Hawksworth from the 19th century and a cross shaped slab of marble records the death on 25th August 1858 of Lucy Hunt, the aunt and patron of the rector George Hunt Smyttan. Parish information records that on 24th October 1853 a small portion of additional burial ground at the south east corner was consecrated by the Bishop of Lincoln.

The northern part of the churchyard is very small and the height of the land is lower here compared to the south of the churchyard. It is planted with evergreen trees and shrubs including holly, yew and laurel and there are several 20th century graves and an unmarked iron grave marker.