Friday, 19 September 2008

Gray's elegy in a country churchyard! (120)

Strictly speaking, it's not really a country churchyard, but you get the picture. So, apologies to Thomas Gray.

It was another glorious autumn day, perfect for a late afternoon walk in the local cemetery (now, that does sound a bit weird!). St Mary's is our parish church. The building dates from the twelfth century, although much of the outside was renovated during Victorian times (I'll try to get some more photographs of the church another time). The graveyard is large and has

been in use throughout its history, although the oldest graves I can identify date from about 1750. So many of the tombstones are weathered too much to read any of the engravings. Does anyone know why these old gravestones have a second mini gravestone at the back of them ?

There are of course the obligatory yew trees
dominating the scene, and , sadly, many broken tombs, though there are notices up that the Borough Council are working their way through the different sections to repair and renovate the tombs and memorials. 

There is also a huge Victorian edifice, set up to commemorate a man and wife, but I have no idea now who they were.

Even though it's surrounded by roads it was an 
oasis of peace and serenity this afternoon, with just the background humof traffic, the buzzing of bees, birds chattering and squabbling and children using it as a shortcut on their way home from school.

I think the thing I love most about cemeteries are the human stories to be read there. I love to imagine the background to those bland statements, or flowery verses. Here are pictures of just a couple of them. So sad to think of the number of children that families lost in those days.


Amelia said...

What beautiful pictures...I agree wondering about all the stories would be mind boggling.

Looks like the cemetary would be a nice place for walking.


Gretchen said...

What a nice way to spend the afternoon. Many people don't know that cemeteries were used as greenspace/park space in the 1800s and I love going to different old cemeteries looking at the stories, sculpture and landscaping. Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta is a beautiful oasis in a busy, crowded city. Are the second little stones to make sure the larger one doesn't fall over? Or maybe they were put there before the larger marker was placed? I don't know, now I'm curious too.

Kay said...

It's amazing to think of all the stories there are in those tombstones. Beautiful photos, Amanda.

Anonymous said...

I thought it means that there was a child buried with the other person?


Amy (lilme2_99) said...

gosh dear! Sorry I haven't commented in ages!!!!

The pictures are beautiful! And you answered a question I had for you without evening knowing it....."are your tree's leaves turning yet?" Apparently not quite.......

I always love reading your posts on the British historical information / British sights. What a beautiful country! SOMEDAY I will make it there!

Brenda said...

Cemetaries are very peaceful places to visit and do offer a lot of history and stories. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Walking in church yards are peacefull places to walk around, full of history in the older ones, we had a great one where i grew up, just nice to sit and think, love church buildings too,
Have a great day,