St Helen's Church

Monumental Inscriptions

First published 2004, revised and updated May 2021

The project was accomplished by members of Longhorsley Local History Society (LLHS) from October 2003 to May 2004

by: Marian Chilvers; Derek Knox; Bill Ricalton, Glyn Scott, with invaluable assistance from Penny Ford; Paul Savage; Roger Stephenson;

John Wild and Geoffrey Woodman. This revised edition updated by Derek Knox and Glyn Scott

Background & Key data to the Monumental Inscriptions &unmarked graves

2004 survey

The Monumental Inscriptions from St Helen’s Churchyard have been previously recorded, in part, on at least three occasions. Of these the last and most comprehensive, was by Philip Thirkwell in 1992. However, it appears that access was somewhat difficult at that time, as many gravestones in the old churchyard were not recorded.

The 2004 resolved this situation. All the 1992 data was checked and amended where necessary and resulted in the addition of some 25 monumental inscriptions and in total, 65 more surname references for the old churchyard alone. The extension graveyard area (earliest memorial death date ~ 1913) was also checked and additions made.

Update Survey

The most recent monumental stones are now included and where additional inscriptions have been added to older stones updates have been made.

Further, as well as the Monumental Inscriptions, there are many unmarked graves. Graves recorded in the Parish Church records covering a period between 1929 and 2005 for the Cemetery Area. This period of burials has been transcribed from the Parish Church records and are included.

Gravestone numbering system

The gravestone numbering system adopted by Philip Thirkwell has been retained in the most part and where previously unrecorded old headstones are added they have been given the number of adjacent stones suffixed by a letter. Within the Cemetery Area, for this latest survey, headstones have had revised LLHS numbers from headstone No 280 onwards. As a cross-reference, the ‘Parish Record burial Nos.’ are also given in the monumental inscription descriptions and similarly, the LLHS Nos. are shown the on the transcribed Parish Church Records list.

Graveyard plans

To aid visitors finding particular tombstones, plans of the two areas have been made with each monument allocated a reference number. The churchyard plan shows the approximate location and orientation of all the gravestones at the time of the 2004 survey. The cemetery plan is similar, however updated to this recent survey.

Explanation of the recorded inscriptions

Many headstones, particularly in the old churchyard are weathered, broken or damaged in other ways, making reading of the inscription difficult and occasionally impossible. During the 2004 survey, where parts are unreadable, the sections are indicated as [----] or for longer unreadable sections: […….

Where interpretations of dates and names have been made, these are indicated showing the interpretation in square brackets, eg. [Dec 25].

In transcribing the inscriptions, the spelling of words and names has been recorded as indicated on the gravestones and every endeavour has been made to keep mistakes to a minimum.

Note: by the time of this revision, it was evident that more headstones, particularly in the old graveyard are now illegible and more has fallen or overgrown.