Thomas Gray is buried in St. Giles's Churchyard, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire,
Stoke Poges Monument
Photograph by David Conway
He died at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge and requested to be buried
next to his mother. His tomb is below the east window of the Hastings Chapel. The
tablet on the wall of the church records that his mother is buried in
the vault below.
Gray is chiefly
remembered for his great poem :
Elegy in a Country Churchyard - which is
believed to have been set in St. Giles. It is thought that Gray commenced writing
this poem in 1742 but didn't complete it until 1750 when he sent it to Horace
Walpole in a letter.
Verses from the Elegy are inscribed on his
monument which was erected in 1799 and stands to the east of the church.
After the death of Colley Cibber in 1757 he was offered the Poet
Laureateship but turned it down to take up a teaching
post at Cambridge University.
His other famous poems include: Ode on a Distant Prospect of
Eton, Sonnet on the Death of (Richard) West and The Progress of
Poesy (a Pindaric ode).
There is also a monument to Gray in
'Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, London.
See also Graveyard Poets.