Ratcliffe on Soar Holy Trinity

Churchyard

The older part of
the churchyard
One of the graves
of the Bosworth
family
A grave of the
Chamberlin family

In the churchyard, perhaps the oldest tombs are the two, close to the porch covered with very heavy stone slabs on which a cross trefoil is still just visible. The style of these slabs suggests they may be 13th century or earlier and it is possible that the hollow stone coffin presently kept inside the church is of similar date. Most of the stones commemorate the villagers themselves. Many of the memorial headstones are assembled in sections of close relatives as in other churchyards. The inscriptions on the oldest of the sandstone are barely discernable. The elegantly engraved stones are covered with attractive scrollwork and in some cases appropriate symbols of mortality. Some bear verses that give a brief biography of the dead.

The most notable records Robert Smith died 1782:

Fifty five years it was something more
Clerk of this parish, he the office bore.
And in that space ‘Tis awful to declare
two generations buried by him were.

Abigail Woolley, who died in 1804, is mourned:

Fair natures image snatch’d in haste away.
An angel yester and a corps today
And yet an angel with a mind serene
A form superior with most precious mien
But now no more: she ‘fled one heart to rend
A faithful lover and a cheerful friend.

Another headstone, of the Bosworth family, situated to the right hand of the path leading to the church door highlights the fragility of life nearly three centuries ago, it reads:

Under this stone lie the bodies of four children of
Thomas Bosworth by Mary, his wife, Vis Charles
who died Jan 2nd in year 5 of his age. Elizabeth,
Jan 3rd in first year. John, Jan 5th in 3rd year,
all in 1727, and Ann, Sept 16th 1734 aged l5years.
And Thos. Bosworth, died 10th June 1737. In the
53rd year of his life he married Mary Ye Dau of
Richard W Cabbot of Great Cropwell by whom
he had nine children and left surviving
four sons and one daughter
In addition to the stones still in the churchyard, a gravestone to Edward Trowell (d1663) has been removed for safe keeping to the interior of the church.