Whitburn Parish Church
- Whitburn Parish Church
- Church Lane
- Tyne & Wear
- SR6 7JL
English Heritage ID: 303662
Risk: Not at risk
- CHURCH YARD
Prior to its extension in 1868 the churchyard was roughly rectangular, with the church set close to the centre of the north side.
- The 1868 extension comprises a second, rather narrower, rectangle to the north, its east side contiguous with that of the original part.
- The older monuments in the churchyard lie on the south of the church; they generally comprise 19th century headstones and tombstones, but there is a scatter of 18th century stones; some of these monuments are broken or badly decayed.
- There are a number of late 19th and 20th century monuments in the eastern half of the 1868 extension; these all lie east of a north-south bank that might have been a former field boundary.
- In the area west of this, as yet unused, are traces of east-west rigg-and-furrow*.
On the north side of the path immediately inside the lych-gate lies an octagonal stone bowl.
- This has sometimes been considered as part of an old font, but this interpretation is by no means certain.
- It may merit being cleaned and properly examined.
- The present entrance to the churchyard is an 1874 lych-gate, of timber with a pantiled roof, southeast of the church; the roadside wall, of rock-faced stone, capped by railings with fleur-de-lys tops, seems to be contemporary with the lych-gate.
- There is now no entry into the churchyard on any of the other three sides, although an irregular embayment due west of the church may indicate an earlier entrance position.
There are old rubble boundary walls on the south and west of the yard.
- A watch house stood at the southwest corner of the churchyard until relatively recently, but it has been demolished; two piles of cut stone, with various pieces of doorjamb etc (which look late 18th or 19th century), probably derive from it.
- There is a further dump of stone against the short section of the north wall of the old churchyard west of the 1868 extension; this is largely rubble, but includes a few fragments of churchyard monuments.
* Rigg and furrow was a type of cultivation practised in upland areas of the British Isles, which differs from the more common ridge and furrow in that it appears to have been created through excavation by spade rather than plough.