In 2016 The Arts Society Falmouth invited its members to put forward suggestions for a garden project which could be undertaken by its Heritage Volunteers. A small group of interested volunteers decided to visit Mawnan Church with a view to making a record of features of the churchyard.
After discussion, it was agreed that the most useful output would be to produce an attractive leaflet which could be placed both within the church and outside in the lych gate with the aim of encouraging visitors to the church also to look around the churchyard with its lovely view of the Helford River and the sea. The leaflet would include a guide to graves with interesting histories and would also draw the reader’s attention to other aspects of the monuments such as the symbols which appear on the graves and their sculptors.
The most difficult part of the preparation was deciding which graves to include as there were so many which had interesting stories and deserved to be included. They decided to illustrate a variety of different themes – significant local families, some different professions, those lost at sea and local artists. It is felt that the finished leaflet succeeds in this.
The group was very pleased to have had help and information from Sylvia King, the Mawnan village historian. The Parish Council has recently surveyed the churchyard, recording the location of all the graves, and we hope that the new leaflet will complement their work.
Following the morning service at St. Mawnan Church, heritage volunteers from The Arts Society Falmouth, led by Pauline Allday, presented the Acting Parish priest Johanna Clare with 1,000 copies of the leaflet they have produced, entitled ‘A Walk around St. Mawnan Churchyard’.
The leaflet is available to parishioners and visitors, and includes a guide to graves with interesting histories together with descriptions of the symbols which appear on the graves, and their sculptors.
Pauline said, ‘The most difficult part of the preparation was deciding which graves to include, as there are so many with interesting stories which deserve to be in the leaflet. We decided to illustrate a variety of different themes such as significant local families, some different professions, those lost at sea and, with our Art History background, some local artists such as Patrick Woodroffe and Tom Cross.’
The leaflet was finalised in December 2017 and a copy of it is available for download and printing here.