Colwick Old Church


The churchyard
from the west
The churchyard
from the north

The churchyard is now completely surrounded by a brick wall. Most of the gravestones have been removed from their original positions and placed round the south wall of the graveyard. The area to the south of the church has been set out as a quiet sitting area with two seats. The north wall is very close to the church. There is a simple ironwork entrance gate.

In 1885 when John Chaworth Musters gave the Parish more land to extend the graveyard to the south and closer to the hall, he built a high brick wall on the south side to separate the churchyard from the Hall grounds. A plan of the new burial ground at Nottinghamshire Archives shows thirteen parallel rows of gravestones in this part of the graveyard.

When a survey was made of ruined churches in Nottinghamshire in 1977 the graveyard at Colwick was described as:

neglected, overgrown and no longer used for burials. The graveyard is divided into two parts; the inner part defined by a brick wall whilst the outer graveyard has lost much of its boundary wall.

A survey made by Trent Valley Archaeological Research Committee c1978 of all the gravestones in the graveyard is deposited at Nottinghamshire Archives Office. It consists of 98 slips of paper – one for each gravestone giving details of the type of stone, full transcription of inscriptions and a small photograph of each stone.

Earliest stone   Babington Whatton Jun died 19 July 1713 aged 23
Latest stone   Fanny Neale died 19 October 1963 aged 91

Nottinghamshire Family History Society has also recorded basic information from 93 gravestones in its Record Series Monumental Inscriptions Vol.XX. The last burial in the graveyard appears to be that of Thomas William Hudson who died in 1970 aged 95 and was interred here alongside his wife who had predeceased him.

A notable burial on the north side of the church, without gravestone, was that of Mrs William Saville and her children, who were murdered by her husband in Colwick Woods in 1844. The murder is noted as much for the events at Saville’s execution as for the murder itself. The execution took place on the steps of the Shire Hall as usual but on this occasion a very large crowd had turned out to see the event. As the crowd moved away after the execution, there was a crush at the top of Garners Hill steps and many people were trampled in the crush. Twelve people were killed and five died afterwards.