All Saints’ churchyard

The original churchyard was about half an acre in size and over the years this has increased to about four acres, the extra land being given by various benefactors. In 1538 a mandate was issued ordering records of burials to be kept. Most parishes’ earliest records including All Saints’ were destroyed or lost. The oldest gravestone in the churchyard is dated 1658.

There are twenty-two War Graves from both World Wars.

There are other interesting graves including that of Sir Joseph Swan FRS, the great inventor who died in 1914 and Richard Ward, who died in 1878, having established Methodism in Warlingham. The inscriptions on tombstones are currently being recorded. A memorial garden for the interment of cremated remains was created in 1953.

In the churchyard there are about two hundred trees of many varieties including several ancient English Yews, one of which is believed to have been planted when the church was built. The oldest Yew is thought to be over 2,400 years old. An English oak tree was planted by Professor David Bellamy during the Churchyard Festival in 2008.

Flora and bird surveys have been made. There were 142 species of flora recorded in 2004 including Good Friday grass and Creeping buttercup. Fifty-five different species of birds were identified including cormorants and house sparrows. A booklet “A Walk Through The Churchyard” is available at the church, price £1.

Our churchyard management plan encourages the growth of wild flowers and includes a grass and hedge cutting programme. Much work is done by volunteers who meet on the third Saturday morning of each month. Volunteers are welcome – just turn up.