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The Turvey Website The history and families of Turvey in Bedfordshire, England

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Outside the Church

Turvey Church Tour - Part 7

The beauty of All Saints, Turvey does not end when you leave the church building.


The churchyard, with its neatly trimmed box hedges and soft coloured stones is a traditional English graveyard.

Higgins Mausoleum

This is the Longuet-Higgins' Mausoleum where many members of the family have been buried since the 1800's. There are more pictures and details on its own page on this site.

Cheeky Gargoyles

One of the grotesques that adorn the outside of the church.  Click the picture to see lots more photos of these cheeky chaps.

The beautiful lych gate was originally constructed in 1856 and was restored by Charles Lindsell in 1925.  The inscription  to the left is on a plaque inside the lych gate. Lych is an old English word for a corpse and the lych gate was originally a place where the burial party and ministers could await the deceased in inclement weather.


On the right is the wording from the plaque on the lych gate.

This is a gorgeous box-hedge that grows around Chancery House and the East side of the churchyard.


Click the image to enlarge.


RESTORED BY

CHARLES T. LINDSELL

IN MEMORY OF HIS ONLY DAUGHTER

MARJORIE TOWER HYLAND

AND HER THREE CHILDREN

DROWNED OFF THE COAST OF NEW GUINEA

JANY 25TH 1925

This is a very rare wooden grave marker, on the West side of the churchyard.  It says:  "In Memory of CHARLES NEGUS Who Died. December 5th 1861 aged 85 Years".


There are very few wooden grave markers of this sort of age left in Britain.

I would like to include the inscriptions from some of the many old tombstones in the churchyard.  I will start adding them as soon as time allows - if anyone out there has any then I would be happy (and grateful) to include them.

This is the little area by the door to the Bell Tower, with bench and bird bath.

Click to enlarge the image.

The South face of Turvey Church - click the picture to enlarge it.

A Surprise in the Churchyard


“In 1825 a Sepulchre was made in a part of the Church yard at Turvey where there was no appearance of any persons having been buried, but to the greatest surprise of those who procured The Faculty, as well as of the Rector of the parish, the decayed remains of (at least) eighty bodies were discovered, which were apparently buried without coffins.  The Bones were again put into a large grave at a short distance.” wrote John Higgins in his “Turvey Scrapbook”.


Local people proposed poems to be placed on a stone marker over the new grave.


The marker stone was in the North East corner of the Churchyard (sadly now gone), and these are the words that were chosen to be put upon it:

This stone is placed to mark the spot where the decayed remains of many
bodies are buried which were found near
this place without any memorial in the year 1825.  Silent in death, forgotten and unknown.  The mouldering relicts of a
former age lie mingled here until that
solemn day when the dread sound of the
arch angels trump shall bid them hasten to the judgement seat and thou lone wanderer must meet them there.


John also mentions a very unusual fact.. “It was .. remarkable that a number of small shells were found in the orifice of some of the bones..”i