Ancient Crosses in the Churchyard
In this photo you can see many of the Crosses now situated in the Church Yard, the red standard bush and the yellow sign were only temporarily there for the Flower Festival.
The tallest of the crosses with the damaged top is the "Saint Neot" cross thought to have been given by Prince Alfred (later to become King Alfred) who visited the Saint Neot here. Read the page on this website about him via this link. The cross has been verified by Saxon experts as being contempoary with the era. Most of the other crosses are modern, some being medieval and others later in the 16th century.
The image here shows the typical design work used at the time to decorate saxon crosses. I'm sure both Alfred and Saint Neot would have forgiven me for removing the power and telephone lines that were in the original photos!
The Lantern Cross here has been used as a war memorial to honour the soldiers and sailors from the village who died from fighting in the first world war (1914-1918). The two metal spherical balls at its base are considered by some to be “chain shoot”. This much travelled cross has been situated in many different places in its life, Trewarne Manor, Luxulyan, Helston and St Neot. It is cut from Cataclews Greenstone. It possibly dates from the 15th century.
This image shows the small head of an old cross, all that is left of it. Many shafts were used as supports for farm gates! These crosses were removed from their original sites by the Rev Grylls in the 19th century so unfortunately we don’t know where they came from as no records (if they were kept) remain.
Two of the three (above and below) are Incised Latin crosses, they are Wayside crosses that once marked a Pilgrim’s Way or route to an Abbey. They are Medieval, i.e. 10th century onwards.
Genealogy & Old Graves
There has been a church in St Neot for many centuries. People have been baptised, married and buried here for many centuries also. Although there are hundreds of graves certainly dating from when this church was built in the 1200's, none that old have existing markings that are visible today. Parish registers were kept but the ones for St Neot are not held in the church now. Dates kept were for Baptisms (not births) marriages and Burials (not deaths).
"There has been a church in St Neot for many centuries"
In the St Neot Archive we hold two books, one listing Baptisms in the Church and the other listing Burials in the Churchyard. Both of these books are an "Index of entries between 1641 and 1837 in the Parish Registers".
Cornwall Records Office
The Cornwall Records Office keeps an online catalogue with direct access to the National Archive.Cornwall Records Office
There are other organisations offering research facilities such as "Ancestry". The Mormon Church also have very comprehensive records of English BDM lists.
Valuable information can also be found on www.findagrave.com. St Neot is on the site but most, not all of the stones are featured.
The National Archive is also another valuable resource.
Remember when you are looking for ancestors names in excess of 100 years ago most people either couldn't read or write let alone spell "correctly", (hence Pub signs with pictures rather than words) no spelling rules exsisted and names changed. One of the windows in the church is the (now written) Callaway Window, perhaps depending on how long ago, it was called the Callawy, Callway, Callwaye. First names are also spelled differently, Joan / Jone, abreviations can be unexpected, Xtopher instead of Christopher.