Radcliffe on Trent St Mary


View across the churchyard from the North-westThe churchyard surrounds St Mary’s, but the main part is on the south side. Wills show that burials routinely took place in the churchyard in the sixteenth century - and presumably for centuries before - but the earliest surviving stone is that to John Green senior who died 17 May 1698 aged 45 years. The latest churchyard stone records the death of Edward Brewster on 18 August 1870 aged 28 years. In that year a cemetery off Vicarage Lane was opened. (Although the churchyard has not been used for burials since that date, Home Office records apparently show no official closure order.) Part of the churchyard has been used for the interment of cremated remains since 1986.

Radcliffe is fortunate in having fine churchyard headstones which have been given a Grade II listing. Many of the earlier stones have inscriptions and designs on slate and are well-preserved. Those carved by George Sparrow (1677-1751) and his son James (1716-1801?), who both lived in the village, are particularly noteworthy. James Sparrow’s work is famous throughout the Vale of Belvoir.