History of Mayfield Parish Church:
During the late 1900s many of the oldest headstones were removed and placed around the perimeter walls. This was to ease the upkeep of the grounds. A map has been kept to show the original position for each of the graves.
The original double entrance gates were erected to commemorate the Rev Alfred Evill MA serving the parish as vicar for 50 years. The original plaque can be found on the present gates.
Thomas Moore and Lord Byron
To the left of the main entrance gates is a simple slate headstone marking the grave of Olivia Byron Moore 1814-1815. Olivia was the daughter of the celebrated Irish poet and lyricist Thomas Moore, who lived in Mayfield for three years. Lord Byron was a great friend of Thomas Moore and is believed to have been god-father to the little girl, hence her middle name.
There are three significant crosses in the churchyard. The most obvious of these is on the Cenotaph which bears the names of the men in the village who died during two world wars.
The oldest cross is the Medieval Cross that stands in the south churchyard to the right of the main entrance path. In 1852, to prevent further damage, this cross was moved to the churchyard from its position at the junction of Slack Lane and Hermitage Lane in Middle Mayfield. It is thought that the cross once marked the centre of the village. A hand written map, showing the original position of the cross, is in the church records.
The Millenium Cross, made from Derbyshire grit-stone, commemorates the second millennium and is positioned at the south side of the tower.
At the east end of the churchyard there is a large tree stump, all that remains of what was once a superb specimen of a Lebanese Cedar tree. During 2008 a large branch fell from the tree and following advice from tree surgeons the tree was felled. The rings on the stump show that the tree was 177 years old. The top surface of the stump has been sealed and three lines have been marked from the centre to the outer ring of the stump. Using growth rings the lines will be marked to show historical dates and events for the world, church and village during the life of the tree.
There are no records to show when the magnificent yew trees were planted but they are already hundreds of years of age and will certainly see Mayfield church well into its second thousand years.