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Church Post Code NG13 9PA

Please note that permission needs to be sought to access the church grounds here. This church is redundant and is now privately owned.

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Permission granted; I found these grounds to be of great interest! There are ten Vale of Belvoir gravestones to be found here, with the condition generally being very good. A little gardening work was required to be able to read all of the inscriptions though!

I will start off with a stone to Hannah Cooke. Her stone reads 'Here lies the body of Hannah Cooke (sister to Wil Wilson's wife) she died March 4th 1728 aged 48 year'

'Blessed are they yt (that) in the Lord do died   from their labours they rest eternally O they were wise thinking on Heaven that when they die dear Christ may be their friend'

This stone is in good condition, with the exception of some damage to the angel's face but is leaning over, partially obscuring the stone at the side of it 


'The gravestone which is partially obscured by Hannah Cooke' s is to Page Smith.

'To Die Is Gain' is carved across the top, a line from Philippians Chapter 1 verse 21. The verse reads 'For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain'.

The details of this stone read as follows... 'Here lies the body of Page the son of Henry Smith by Anne his wife here interred who departed this life November 16th 1728 in ye 29th year of his age'.

There is a full inscription lower down here, perfectly readable still but the stone leaning in front of it meant that I couldn't get to see it fully. However, it begins with the deceased saying farewell to his friends, with the last four lines being familiar from other stones...

'Death does not always warning give so be careful how you live   Repent in time no time delay  for I in my youth was call'd away. 

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The gravestone to Henry Smith has stood here for a fraction over 300 years. It looks as if it was carved last Thursday! Beautiful condition.

'Remember Thy End' is states across the top. It continues... 'Here lies the body of Henry Smith  he departed this life July 24th 1719 aged 56 years'

Further down it states 'Remember Man as thou pass by as thou art now so once was I  As I am now so must you be   Therefore prepare to follow me'

This is pretty much taken from a very old poem where three Kings in their finery meet three skeletons. The skeletons inform them that they will follow them in to death despite their riches!

The next stone is another in a long line of Belvoir Angel stones which tells a very sad story. 

'Here lies the body of Martha and Benett son and daughter of John Mitchel Senr by Eliz his wife  Martha died April 7th 1723 aged 7 years  Benett died Oct 28th 1723 in infancy'

Lower down, the tale of tragedy for this family continues 'Nigh to this stone lies ye body of Ambros son of John and Eliz Mitchel'.

These Belvoir Angel gravestones are well preserved and are easy to work, allowing much detail to be carved on to the stone, which for the most part has preserved really well. This gives a sad but fascinating glimpse in to the hard lives that these people lived. Terrible to think that this scene was replicating throughout the country

The stone concludes 'All you that do behold our stone   pray think how quickly we were gone   Death does not always warning give   Therefore be carefull how you live'

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Close by is another gravestone to the Mitchel family. Of the ten here, this one is probably the finest in quality. This is a double angel stone 'Come Ye Blessed' carved between the two in a heart shaped surround.

The five lines detailing the deceased are carved in relief; the background around the letters are carved away leaving the letters standing proud of the stone. This is a skilled piece of work; but as always we have a few spacing problems as the masons struggled to get the lettering in where they should go!

It reads 'Here lies the body of John & Benett sons of John & Eliz Mitchel John died Oct 6th 1715  Benett died Mar 14th 1720' No ages are shown for either.

Further down it reads 'Nigh to this stone two babies do lie  both died in their infancy  Short was their race long is their rest  God takes his choice he loves the best'

The nest is to another member of the Mitchel family. This one is to Ellin, wife of John Senior. The stone has the hourglass and crossed bones across the top, the bones having been damaged at some point over the years.

'Come Ye Blessed' should read across the top but 'ye blessed' is also missing.

This stone reads 'Here lies the body of Ellin the wife of John Mitchel who departed this life April28th 1710 in the 50th year of her age'

It continues 'Pale death will hardly find another so good a wife so kind a mother In all her actions so discreet as she who here lies at your feet'

It is suggested that 'Pale Death' could refer to a disease such as cancer but I opt for it referring to the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse in Revelation where Death is said to have ridden a pale horse.


The gravestone to John Mitchel Senior also has damage to the top, with the crossed bones again missing as a result. I am assuming that John Senior was the husband of Ellin just mentioned.

This reads 'Here lies the body of John Mitchel Senior  he departed this life the 3rd day of March 1717 aged 57 years'

The inscription below mentions him and his wife, who died seven years previously; it says 

'A loving husband and a caribng wife here lies confined both to leave this life and tho their bodys they do turn to dust   their souls I hope are dwelling with the just'.

There is an incomplete line of script at the top of the gravestone to Anne Smith; damage at some point taking away some of the text.

However, it looks to be Deuteronomy Chapter 32 verse 29 which reads 'Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would consider their latter end!

The stone is inscribed 'Here lies the body of Anne the wife of Henry Smith   she departed this life Jan 26th Anno Dom 1720 aged 58 years'

A slightly unusual inscription lower down says 'It is no wonder that we do turn to clay when rocks and stones and monuments decay'

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And to complete the set of ten!

'Here lies the body of Joseph Willameil  who departed this life April ye 21st 1719 in the 33rd year of his age'

'Reader stand still and lend a tear upon the dust that sleepeth here  and whilst you read of the state of me think on the glass that runs for thee'.

This is a very interesting church grounds and well worth looking at. The stones here are very well preserved and make for a fascinating set.

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The stone to Thomas Upton is inscribed 'Here lies the body of Thomas Upton who di'd May ye 8th 1729 aged 36 years'

A wonderful piece of text below states...

'Spectators all who ere you be  take care you live and die as he  Low here her is laid in the dust  waiting the rising of the just  As he'el be judged so must we all  when God almighty pleased to call'

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