Thurgarton St Peter


Some headstones
along the northern
boundary wall

Postcard of c1940,

before the gravestones

were cleared from
the churchyard

The old churchyard lies immediately to the north of the church; its western boundary is a stone wall in which many pieces of recycled priory stone can be seen including several carved heads by an arched doorway. There are several large yew trees along the path.

The churchyard was cleared of nearly all its grave markers in 1954 and the headstones placed up against the boundary walls. A few gravestones remain in situ; two are War Graves, four grave slabs opposite the north porch belong to the Milward family and a small stone nearby marks the site of re-interment of skeletons unearthed during excavations at Castle Hill in the 1950s.

The oldest gravestones date from the early 18th century, many are very worn but one can still make out several with verses.

Sample Inscriptions

Of sudden death

William Hill died in 1735 aged 28.

All you that look upon this stone
Consider how soon I was gone
Death does not always warning give
Repent while you on earth do live

Thomas White March 1821

In perfect health he went from home
Not thinking that his course was run
All flowers grow but fade away
More sudden death does life decay.

Of death carrying off both man and wife

John Richardson aged 26

Look here and you may plainly see
a prospect of mortality
How death stings both man and wife
and takes away their mortal life

Of grieving parents

Elizabeth Harris December 1826

The tender branch that sleepeth here
Was much beloved of parent dear
For truth and justice did her actions guide
She lived beloved, much lamented died.

Of ripe old age

William Kitching aged 98 years 1881

Thou shall come to thy grave in a full age
Like as a shock of corn cometh in his season (Job)

The new graveyard

New Graveyard

A new graveyard was opened to the north-east, near to the church, in the 1950s.