The Churchyard

It is likely there was an ancient burial ground predating the building of the Church, but all traces of this would have been covered over by subsequent burials.

Until the 1850s Grasmere Parish covered the whole of the Rothay & Brathay valleys down to what is now the Low Wood Hotel. Grasmere Churchyard had three entrances for the people from Grasmere, Ambleside and Langdale. The churchyard was closed for new burials in 1904, but only about 10% of the burials are marked; there are graves both under the floor of the Church, churchyard grass and paths.

The most famous grave is of William Wordsworth which is marked by green signs and metal railings on the east side, with the simple inscription ‘ William Wordsworth 1850, Mary Wordsworth 1859’ The neighbouring graves are to his sister, brother and children, including his daughter Dora Quillinan. There is also the grave of William Green the artist here, whose epitaph was composed by Wordsworth.

On the north side near the path to the Lych Gate are the graves of the Green family. Their tragic story is told in “The Greens of Grasmere“. The grave of George and Sarah has no stone but they are recorded on the headstone of Agnes their daughter. Nearby is the stone of Sarah Nelson who created the gingerbread shop after the school moved to Stock Lane.

Eight of the present yew trees were planted by Wordsworth. The Wordsworth Daffodil Garden was created in 2004 from a piece of land which belonged to the Church but which was unuseable for burials.