Tuesday 23 June 2020

The Mystery of the Hidden Stone Tablet at St.Austell Church

St. Austell Church

Such busy lives we lead, looking but not seeing. Thousands of people have no doubt walked quickly passed St. Austell Church without noticing the stone tablet in the boundary wall. Okay, it is quite hard to see on the long wall- as the photo below shows.

The stone reads:
Here lyeth the
body of Mary
Harris who died
the 7th June
aged one and

The question is, why did she warrant such a prominent position on the church wall? There are no other such stones. All I know is that she supposedly died of drowning.

I traced her baptism in local records (above) which show she was baptised on the 13th of September 1713 and her father was Nicholas Harris - but her mother's name is left blank on the records.

A sobering thought but I guess very few of us will be remembered in 266 years time.


  1. Yes, Mike, a timely reminder to make sure we look AND see. An interesting observation.

  2. You did well to find this stone Mike, it's surprising what history there is in our ancient churches. If, like you, we care to take the time to look.

    1. I've looked for this stone previously without success. On this visit it must have meant to be!
      Strange on some of the detail on the stone as we have a good friend called Mary Harris and my wife and I met on the 7th of June.

  3. I walk pass the stone every morning before work, and often stop and give her my thoughts, i hope that the work they are doing to the left of the stone/tablet will not damage it, and hope they will preserve the stone/tablet !

    1. Hello Peter, thanks for your comment. Hopefully the stone will be preserved for many years into the future. Good wishes.

  4. Rev and Andrew Matthews told us that it was an underground passage where there is bodies.



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