The original churchyard was simply the area surrounding Christchurch but was only used between 1845 and 1854 and just a few headstones have been found there. These have been placed around the boundary hedge. In more recent times, this area has been used for the internment of cremated remains and the creation of small memorial gardens.
Although in 1845 the parish of Lannarth was carved out of the extensive Gwennap parish, burials mainly remained there until the second churchyard, located opposite Christchurch, was established on the 8th August 1911. By the mid-1970s this churchyard, which is owned by the Parochial Church Council, was full and no more burials were possible.
In 2001 Lanner Parish Council purchased additional land and created the Lawn Cemetery which is accessed via the Churchyard. In 2005, the Parish Council created a Garden of Reflection which provides a peaceful environment, with views across the valley to Cam Marth, for visitors to the churchyard or cemetery alike.
The maintenance of the Churchyard became an impossible task for Christchurch and support was offered initially by ‘Friends of Lanner Churchyard’ and latterly by Lanner Parish Council. This has supported regular grass cutting and in following good practice protected the flora and fauna in the area. In 2019 Christchurch was successful in an application to ‘close’ the Churchyard; this means the facility now falls under the protection of Cornwall Council. As part of partnership working the Parish Council continue to cut the grass, with a small remittance from CC. With support from volunteers, it is hoped works will be extended to cover boundary hedge maintenance, clearance of vegetation encroaching into graves and the relocation of shrubs/bushes.
There are few elaborate headstones in the graveyard and many plots are unmarked, reflecting the relative lack of wealth in the area. There are two war graves for those who served in WWII and two burials of clergy; these are easy to spot as in line with protocol the headstones face in the opposite direction. The tradition of never ‘turning one’s back on one’s congregation’ is adhered to!
Unfortunately, there are no official burial records for either of the first two churchyards. There are at least 670 graves in the second churchyard and where identifiable a list of these graves and the inscriptions on the stones have been posted here.
During excavation for the Garden of Reflection several items of interest were revealed dating between late Medieval and Tudor times. These artefacts are with the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro.
The Lychgate was constructed by builder John Tiddy in 1920 as a memorial to those who fell in World War One. A service of dedication, led by the Lord Bishop of Truro, took place on 24 April 1920. (see gallery) A plaque to remember the fallen of WWII was later added.
Just a little further down Rough Street there is also a memorial outside the Methodist Church, in commemoration of all those from Lanner who gave their services.
Some historical documents to view
Below is a plan of Lanner Cemetery. The numbers allow you to pictorially wander around the churchyard on the Gallery below, starting by the main gate and going clockwise through the cemetery. On Google maps here: https://goo.gl/maps/mrbwqcrFu3iniVkJ7
The Gallery follows the above plan sections.