Burial Ground Mapping

Update 8 July 2022

The National Burial Ground Survey (NBGS) for Truro Diocese has now started. I’d like to take this opportunity to provide progress on the project within your diocese.



The National Burial Ground Survey project was announced by the Church of England in September last year. The media release is available to view here. Truro Diocese signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which gave consent for AG Intl Ltd (formerly Atlantic Geomatics) to survey each churchyard and photograph all visible memorials.


Consent has been sought from each PCC by Sue Thorold, DAC Secretary at the diocese, using an e-form for the scanning of the parish registers (baptism, marriage and burial) and for access to complete an internal church survey.


The digital mapping, photography, register scanning, record transcribing and connection to the Church Heritage Record are all free. The monthly subscription is optional and provides the ability to record future updates, infill unmarked graves and record biodiversity.


Churchyard and Church Mapping

Our field team are due to start visiting churches and churchyards later this month. They use non-intrusive mobile mapping equipment, and each visit can take as little as an hour.  Before our visit, you’ll receive an email notification two weeks before your scheduled date with further detailed information.


Register Collection

This element of the project commenced at the end of May and many of you have already had current registers collected, scanned and returned. As with the mapping, you’ll receive an email notification two weeks before your scheduled collection time and date. All registers are be returned within 2 weeks.


Memorial Photography

Once the digital map has been created, a return visit to your churchyard will be arranged to complete this task. We envisage this phase of the project to commence at the end of the summer.

Family history research is now big business and a hugely popular hobby drawing people from all over the world to seek out old records and old graves.


A new, free Burial Grounds Project by the Church of England nationally will see every churchyard in the Diocese of Truro digitally mapped along with the digitization of parish records meaning parishes and public will now be able to view the information freely and easily.


The Bishop of Truro, the Rt. Revd Philip Mounstephen said: “Having laboriously traced my own family tree in the old Cornwall Council records office many years ago, I know what a valuable resource this digital tool will be for many people researching their own genealogy. It’s also a way of making our churches more ‘porous’ and welcoming to visitors: I’m very much in favour of anything that helps us do that, so I commend this project wholeheartedly.”


All the work will be done by a team from Atlantic Geomatics, the company hired by the Church of England nationally to undertake the work. 

These digital records and images will then be integrated with the Church Heritage Record, the national database of the Church of England, which the diocese has access to.

A simplified version of the digital map and images of the records created will be safely and permanently curated and will be freely available for everyone to view. 

NBGS Brochure Oct 2021.pdf