Old St Helen's Church at Longhorsley. The oldest verifiable records that can be found of the Milfield Grey's ancestors are at Longhorsley. The church to the south of the village used to be visible from the A697, but is now hidden by a group of trees. No sign marks the path through the gate from the main road to the church.

St Helen's photographed in 2015 by Claire Grey
Left: Black and white photographs taken in 1920 and 1939. From the Longhorsley Local History Society website here. The roof of St. Helens was removed in 1965 and the building left as a ruin.

The church retains the base of the font at its eastern end but is now used by local children who have added a swing attached to the steel put in to stop the walls collapsing. Longhorsley has its own local history web site where there is a list of transcribed memorials and a map. You can view the whole plan here. Some inscriptions that were legible in 1992 were lost by the time the local history society did their survey in 2003. The additional graves found by the society have an added letter after the number. Thanks to them we can see John Grey's tombstone.

John Grey of Longhorsley's grave. Lying flat beside the southern wall of the grave yard, it is practically illegible and has the lower half missing. It looks as if having broken in two it may have been moved to its present position against the wall as it is aligned south/north. As it is very square it may once have been the top of a table tomb rather than a standing stone.

Elizabeth daughter of Mr John GREY of Longhorsley Died June 17[60] Aged 8 years William his son died Decemr 16 17[--] Aged [6] Years Geo his son died Janr 7th 17[52] Aged 3 years Thos his son died Janr 17[--] Aged 1 year. Ann his daughter died May 3d 1760 aged [2] Years. Mr John GREY died [------] 6th 1778 aged 68 years. [……………] 1785 aged [--]

The headstone fits the parish register and the illegible dates could be: "Elizabeth daughter of Mr John GREY of Longhorsley Died June 1752 Aged 8 years William his son died Decemr 16 1752 Aged [6] Years Geo his son died Janr 7th 1753 Aged 3 years Thos his son died Janr 1753 Aged 1 year. Ann his daughter died May 3d 1760 aged [2] Years. Mr John GREY died [------] 6th 1778 aged 68 years. [……………] 1785 aged [--] ." A sad list of five, possibly six, dead children.

The parish registers at Longhorsley have a large number of children whose father's name is Wiilliam Grey. The burial records show a William Grey burial dated 03 Nov 1805 Wm GREY Age 50 Abode Horsley Bricks, Notes died 01 Nov 1805, Farmer. There is a record of a William Grey marrying an Ann Young at Longhorsley on 3 July 1754. This fits with the Youngs at the the nearby farms. But if she was born in 1724 she would only be 14 when John was born if he died aged 79. It is possible since the stone is so worn that 79 might be 59? This would make his birth 1758 rather than 1738 and therefore nearer his brother.

The nearest Young grave is 91B "Ralph YOUNG died Dec 27 1746 Aged 69 years. Mary his wife died March [--] 1772 aged 7[-]. Ann daughter of Ralph YOUNG Junr of Todburn died Nov 17 [1751] Aged 11 years. Mary his daughter died Nov [--] 17[--] Aged [--] Years. William his son died Nov [--] 1785 Aged [--] "

No. 94 also "Young" is a well decorated one with detailed imagery; two angels with wings and two funerary urns with a long skirted woman holding a skull.


The grave of William Grey, leaning towards the west and with the centre now badly eroded. It is decorated with a flower. The symbol of the fragility of life or of immortality.

"In memory of William GREY of Horsleybricks who departed this life December 12th 1796 aged 80 years. His wife Mary Ann GREY died January 14th 1793 aged 6[9] years. William their son died Nov [1st] [1805 ] aged [50] years. John their son died Febry [15th] [1817] aged [59]"

As these sons were both buried with their parents it seems unlikely that William is the father of John.

94. Sacred to the memory of Ralph YOUNG of Todburn who departed this life Dec 27th 1755 aged 76 years. Mary his wife died March 22nd 1772 aged 76 years. John their son died Feb 15th 1787 aged 61 years. Ralph their son died at Ogle October 16th 1811 aged 83 years. Elizabeth his wife died Jany 4th 1817 aged 75 years. Ann daughter of Ralph YOUNG jun. Died Nov 17th 1781 aged 11 years. Margaret his daughter died Nov 25th 1781 aged 4 years. William his son died Nov 10th 1785 aged 3 years. Ralph son of the above R. YOUNG placed this monument of gratitude to his parents whom he highly honoured and to his sister Mary whom he dearly loved she died March 13 1827 aged 38 years. Ralph YOUNG died himself Nov 1 1836 aged 62.
A number of graves are for the Aynsley family which intermarried with the Grey women on a number of occasions. The Carnabys have several graves and they intermarried with the Aynsleys. Lionel Aynsley of Garretlee married Mary Carnaby in 1769. There are Burn graves which may be connected to the Greys. Either side of William Grey there are Moore graves. William and John may be descended from the Greys at Burgham, William of Burgham could be William's father and his father was Edward of Burgham. There was a Robt Moore associated with Burgham in the early 1700s. A tenement called Burgham, with lands, &c., let to Edw. Gray, Robt. Brown, and Robt. Moore, 45 pounds.
The other graves nearest to William Grey are 82 Burn, 83 Bell, 83A Edgar, 84 Ferguson, 85 Johnson, 89 Lawson, 90 & 91 Hills, 91A Harbottle, 92 Woodman, 96 & 97 & 100 Sproat, 101 Kirsop, 102 Bates and 103 Pyle. It is quite possible that they may also be connected to the Greys. The much smaller grave of William Common the school master is No. 117. He signed the will of John Grey and the will of William Grey of Burgham.