Old Burying Ground

Old Burying Ground
400 Ann Street
Beaufort, NC 28516
(252) 728-5225

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Located on the 400 block of Ann Street in Beaufort’s historic district, the town’s oldest cemetery holds fascinating stories about Beaufort’s 300-year history! Established in the early 1700’s, its weathered tombstones chronicle the heritage of North Carolina’s third oldest town and the surrounding coast.

Used for Anglican church services in nearby St. John’s Parish, the cemetery was later deeded to the town of Beaufort in 1731 by Nathaniel Taylor following the first survey of the town. Today, the Old Burying Ground is owned by the Town of Beaufort and maintained & managed by the Beaufort Historical Association.

The northwest corner is the oldest part, with the earliest graves marked with shell, brick, or wooden slabs as stone was too difficult to obtain. Characteristic of this period are the vaulted graves bricked over to protect them from water and wild animals.

Inhabitants include a child who died at sea and was buried in a keg of rum, as well as the great privateer Captain Otway Burns and the crew of the Crissie Wright who died when their schooner went aground at Shackleford Banks during a January storm in 1886.

Ask at the Beaufort Historic Site for a walking tour guide.


  • Captain Otway Burns
  • A child buried in a keg of rum