For nearly 1,000 years, Ickworth churchyard has been a place of burial and commemoration.
Who is buried in the churchyard?
The first burial at Ickworth recorded in the parish registers was that of John Barret on 3 April 1566; the grave is not marked. However, burials would have taken place here since the first church was built. The marked graves date from between 1725 and 2006, and include monuments for parishioners, estate workers and staff, tenants and some members of the Hervey family.
The south-east area of the churchyard has Hervey family graves dating from the 19th to the 21st centuries, probably including that of George William Hervey, 2nd Earl of Bristol, who died in 1775. Although his burial is recorded in the parish register, his exact whereabouts is unknown, and it is presumed that the headstone has been lost – the only remaining memorial to him is a stained-glass armorial panel (see right) in the church's south aisle. Since the sale of the church in 1986, some family members have been buried in the churchyard including the mother of the 7th Marquess in 1990 and the grandmother of the 8th Marquess in 2006.
While the churchyard is largely closed to new interments, burials are reserved for several named individuals from Ickworth Park, Horringer and Bury St Edmunds, as well as members of the Hervey family.
Who is buried in the church?
Family members laid to rest in the church begin with Thomas Hervey (d. 1467), the first family member to own Ickworth, who is buried alongside Jane his wife, daughter and heiress of Henry Drury of Ickworth. You can see his inscribed flat stone monument in the pavement floor of the chancel, alongside those of other family members. All the monumental stones in the church were taken up in the 1910-11 restoration; some were re-laid in the chancel floor, while others were arranged on the walls of the nave and chancel.
The family vault (which is closed to the public except by special appointment and occasional specialist tours) is the final resting place of over 30 members of the Hervey family, 13 of whom were moved from the earlier east vault and re-interred here in 1910. Almost every Earl and every Marquess of Bristol were buried here, as were many of their spouses and children. In the family pew there is a plaque commemorating those buried in the vault, starting with Augustus John, 3rd Earl of Bristol, in 1779 (see right).
The vault is still in use for family burials: the most recent was the 2010 re-interment of Victor, the 6th Marquess of Bristol, who was buried in Monaco in 1985.
Please contact us if you would like to research the stories of those buried in the church or churchyard.