Why are Church gates called Lytch gates?

The word Lytch derives from the old English word ‘lit’ meaning body or corpse.
In the pre-hospital days when most people died at home their body or corpse would have to be transported to the local church for burial, often on a church-owned bier.
Protocol states that the deceased must be led into church by the officiating priest who in some cases would be waiting, sometimes not. Should the Westcountry weather decide to mark the occasion with wet and inclement conditions then the Lychgate provided a modicum of shelter for the funeral party whilst they waited.
Some had a coffin bier and seating, so we could assume that a wait for the priest was expected.

What our
customers say...

Richard and his team are consummate professionals who supported us at the most challenging of times.

Gary G.

When Mum passed, you were an absolute Godsend to me. You helped more than I could have expected

V. Daniels

Nothing was too much trouble.

Chris

Richard was recommended by a friend. I immediately felt comfortable and relaxed. He was a good listener, easy to talk to and his manner was reassuring and helpful. I can't thank him enough for seeing us smoothly through this traumatic time.

Anne P.

I lost my husband in his early 50's and Richard took over with great empathy, kindness and discretion. The professionalism of both him and his team was exemplary, even down to organising the traffic so that my husband's biker friends could follow us to the funeral. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

S. Boorer

Nothing was too much trouble. Everything from start to finish was absolutely perfect, the attention to details also superb including the timing of the drivers closing on both car doors, in my eyes, with that attention to detail I knew my Dad was in safe hands

Lee A.

I cannot recommend Richard enough for his compassion, professionalism and kind and thoughtful approach when dealing with myself and my family at such a difficult time. Nothing was too much bother for Richard.

J Kelly

We can't rate Westcountry Funeral Service high enough for their level of compassion .... nothing was ever too much trouble. Excellent communication throughout the whole process and everything was done to a high professional standard. I would highly recommend Westcountry Funeral Service.

Tristan S.

From start to finish the professional service that we received was excellent. We would recommend this company to anyone who sadly is in need of this service.

Peter C.

Throughout the undertakers were superb, calm, stewarding agents of remarkable humanity... It was an incredible experience - a good disturbance of the heart.

Paul C

Richard took over and gave our father's funeral dignity. An excellent all round service that I have no hesitation in recommending.

David H.

.. they looked after my mum, and all the details with the highest standard and went above and beyond.

Karen S.

...unbelievable from start to finish. It is rare to find such a truly personal service

Ben S.

From the moment we contacted Richard we knew our loved one, and the family, were in the safest hands. Outstanding care, service and value for money

Chris D.