Tingewick Churchyard Project



* Logo designed by children from Tingewick Infant School

The History & Background of the Tingewick Churchyard

Our churchyard is the final resting place of villagers from centuries past. It is also a peaceful place of reflection for those who live in and visit Tingewick today. People may have been buried here as long ago as Saxon times.

The churchyard changed and expanded over the centuries before being closed in 1893. A closed churchyard is one where no further burials can take place, although it remains consecrated holy ground.

The church may have originated as a chapel attached to a lord's residence. The Ordnance Survey map of 1880 shows the church situated in an enclosure - probably mediaeval - with the Rectory and Manor Farm.

Tales of Tingewick past

A project to explore and celebrate the history of our churchyard and to rebuild the wall took place in 2006/7. Our research revealed some fascinating insights into life in Tingewick over the centuries, some totally different from today and others uncannily similar.

Take Agnes, for example, who was reported as 'not adhering to marital life with her husband Thomas'.

The earliest reference we found, from 30th April 1220, reports a dispute between the Rector of Tingewick, Robert of Preston, and the Norman abbey that owned the village. Robert said that the abbey had claimed land that had provided Tingewick rectors with an income in the past and appealed to the bishop, Hugh of Wells, to sort it out. Apparently the dispute was settled amicably.

Such an old village might have had plague victims, but we found no mention of it. The earliest medical reference we discovered was a 13th century case of leprosy from which the incumbent, Geoffrey De Castro Rothemago, died. There was an outbreak of scarlet fever in the mid 19th century. Two curious entries in the burial records were made fifty years apart, both stating, 'Smallpox, buried in the night'.

William Adams, who died in 1880 aged 87, is described as a 'Waterloo Man', possibly the only Tingewick resident to have fought at that battle.

Another notable name is that of the Reverend John Risley, Rector of Tingewick from 1759 until 1818, who apprehended and shot a highwayman and was tried for murder, but was subsequently acquitted and commended for having done his duty.

Are you researching your family history?

We have compiled a complete searchable list of the people buried here from 1667 onwards and have collected copies of other materials that you may find useful.

Of particular interest is the Posse Comitatus list (meaning 'power of the county'). England had been at war with France since 1793. Most of continental Europe had fallen to Napoleon who, in early 1798, was massing his troops to invade England. The regular army was small and so was augmented by various groups. One of these was the Dad's Army of its time, members of the civilian population who were called upon to help defend their country. A list was made for the Lord Lieutenant of all males between 16 and 60, who could be called on. The Buckinghamshire list is the only one to survive completely, since the others were disposed of as the threat of invasion passed.

The most detailed information is about the Victorian villagers, mostly from stories in the local press.The burial registers before 1813 recorded a person's occupation (for example, drover) or status (for example, poor woman), but not their age. After 1813, age was given but not occupation.

Further information

Look through this website for photographs, copies of historical documents and a list of burials.

There are opportunities to use the churchyard and the historical material for school projects. Please contact the Clerk to the Parish Council.

© 2011 Tingewick Churchyard.