Churchyard

It is described in the Terrier of 1777 as about one acre of land, well fenced on the East with quick hedges, bounded on the North and West by Robert Holbrook’s house, barn and thick walls of stone, and on the South by a stone wall and brook.

The East is still bounded by quick hedges and iron railings. The North is still bounded in part by the wall to Ireton House and also by a purpose-built wall to the boundary of Church Lane. The original iron Gates were put in situ in 1842 at a cost of £85.6½d. and then replaced in the 20th century. The thick stone wall boundary between Ireton House and the West end of the church remains and includes a blocked-up arch which used to be for access to Ireton House, but the stone wall in the South disappeared, was then replaced by hedging and alder trees, and now the churchyard boundary to the south is a flood-defence wall faced with brick and stone, the flood defences being completed in 2012.

There were several elm trees situated along the north and south boundaries but unfortunately these were claimed by Dutch Elm Disease in the 1980s.

The church stands on the highest level of the churchyard with the land falling away slightly to the South and North. The churchyard did sometimes flood after a very wet winter with the water rising from the River Trent and gravel pit lakes to the South but this has not happened since the flood-defences were put in place.   The church building has never been flooded.

Notable Burials:

Charlton family – 300 years Lords of the Manor of Chilwell.

Thomas Day 1717 – first of Day family to be Parish Clerk.

Henry Day, died 2nd May 1779 – Clerk of the Parish for 43 years.

Three siblings of Henry Ireton, also German and Jane Ireton in unmarked graves.

(The famed Henry Ireton is not buried here. He was finally buried in disgrace at the foot of Tyburn gallows.)

Chilwell explosion victims of 1918 – 134 persons killed – buried in a collective grave.

A more recent headstone of note commemorates the Notts. County footballer Harry Leuty who died in 1955, aged 35 years.

Probably the most poignant inscription within the churchyard is added to a grave of an earlier date and is for a baby:

Toby Richard Mears
Died 21.2.84
Age: 1½ hours
A Life not lived.

The churchyard was ‘closed’ to burials in the 1950s with just a few exceptions since. All other interments are ashes only.

The Garden of Remembrance was created in the 1980s and now consists of memorial tablets with edging stones, a flagstone path, and some seating.

Maintenance of the churchyard is carried out by a volunteer group of church members.