The churchyard around the church in St Buryan is no longer used for burials. We now use the local village cemetery to bury our dead. It is however full of interesting tombstones that reflect our village history.
Just outside the south porch are some very fine examples of 18th century writing on slate.
Just to the east of the south gate stands a stone errected in 1867 to the memory of William Simpson Parish with this inscription.
Our life is but a winter's day
Some only breakfast and away.
Others to dinner stay and are full fed,
The oldest only sups and goes to bed,
Large is his debt who lingers out the day
Who goes the soonest has the least to pay.
Even an Emperor is Buried Here !
At the foot of the Tower, just to the west of the entrance to the church porch, is the tomb of Augustus Smith 1804-1872. For thirty five years he was Lord Proprietor of the Isles of Scilly and sometimes known as ‘The Emperor’. Augustus was a man of extraordinary energy and abilities and he changed the lives of Scillonians from wretched poverty to widespread prosperity.
From Tresco he loved to view through his telescope St Buryan Tower glinting in the morning sun. His wish was to be buried there, very privately, at six in the morning. It was expected that almost no-one would attend the funeral but so greatly was he loved that a huge procession followed his coffin from Penzance to our churchyard.