The Churchyard at St. Martin's
Listed Tombs in the Churchyard
It is not only the church building that is a listed historic structure; in the churchyard; some 15 yards to the east of the church, there is a Grade II Chest tomb of Lawrence Baker (d.1779) and which has later internments. The Chest is on a moulded plinth with heavy vase-like side pieces and with raised and fielded panels, the inscription overlain by later inscriptions,; there is a moulded top slab. There is a railed enclosure, with spiked finials and urn principles. There are also two Grade II Listed Headstones, one, to John Guigon (May, 1772), about 3½ feet high with a broad segmental cornice head and scrolled shoulders, and bearing a coat of arms, scrolls with palm fronds behind. The other headstone is to Elizabeth Prescott, d.1779, and this is about 3½ feet high with segmental head and motifs of cherub and drapery on a floriated base.
In the churchyard you will find many old headstones, some dating back 300 years; a more recent Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone and also the area dedicated for the use of Duke of York's Royal Military School This School is within the parish boundaries that stretch down to the Eastern Docks, which makes Guston one of the closest English parishes to France. Guston Church of England Primary School, until recently in the buildings in the Street which now serve as a Village Hall, has new premises in the area of the former Connaught Barracks, since military families then made up many of its pupils. As then, so now, it still offers good primary education to the children of the Parish, as it has done since formal schooling first started in Guston early in the 20th Century.
Sean Sheffield, 06/07/2019