History of the Knockholt Churchyard

The yew tree beside the road is of considerable age. In recent years it has recovered from the damage of the Great Storm of 1987 and the subsequent attentions of tree-pruners clearing the highway; later, a car which caught fire travelling along the road was brought to a halt immediately beneath its branches as the occupants leapt out.

Popular belief has been that it was growing in the original clearing when the church was built. A certificate signed by Professor David Bellamy estimates the tree to be at least 700 years old. A change of level indicates a substantial extension of the original churchyard to the west. From the far end there is an attractive view back to the church and its rural surroundings, with no other building in sight.

In the old part of the churchyard (not far from the main door and near a maple tree with a memorial plaque to Douglas Bailey) there is an interesting headstone to George Moore who for nearly 40 years at Ide Hill, Brasted and Knockholt faithfully preached God's free and sovereign grace to saints and sinners sold under sin. He died in 1884 aged 87, and is buried here with his first and second wives, who died before him at the ages of 83 and 79. It is pleasing to see that no sectarian feeling prevented this tribute to such an independent character. There is an inscription witnessing to Christian fellowship inside the church.