Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Churchyard, the plot of land surrounding a church and generally associated with the idea of burial. The churchyard seems to have been earlier than the church, owing to the sacredness attached in Roman times to a burial-place, and it was by no means universal to bury the dead in the church or surrounding yard. This practice began to prevail in the 6th century, and has continued till sanitary reasons in the present day have dissociated the connection - in towns at least - of the church with the graveyard. But still to enany people there is something painful in the idea of not resting after death near the church which they and perhaps their forefathers have attended. The churchyard forms part of the incumbent's freehold, but he can only deal with it as a life-tenant. He may feed his cattle or sheep in the churchyard, and may permit others to do so, but he can cut no timber except for the repair of the church. The question of fencing the churchyard and keeping the fences in repair differs in different places.