Tombstones #4: path liners

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In some crowded church graveyards the old stones  are moved from thier original positions to edges of patchways or the yard.   I have no idea where the original graves are.    This is an  example from the 15th Century  St. Andrew’s church in Ashburton,   Devon.    The church normally keeps records of the grave-plots.  

Notice that the walkway is also lined with Yew trees.   Despite their amazing lifespan (4,000 yrs?) the Yew tree is poisonous and  known as the ‘Death tree’,    it  

has a tight-grained wood, tough and resilient, used in the past for spears, spikes, staves, small hunting bows and eventually the famous longbows of the Middle Ages. The arrows were tipped with poison made from the Yew.

The Yews may have predated the placing of the  Chrisitain church indicating a pre-christian sacred site.   Placing the yew trees within the church yard or the Church within the Yew-tree site prevented local animals from eating the Yews and gave the religious group control of a core source material for weaponry.

Tombstones #4: path liners
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