scribbles tagged ‘tombstone’

Tombstones #8: the big recycle

Monday, April 16th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

Tombstones #8: the big recycle
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Tombstones #7: the earth is verging on flat

Sunday, April 15th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

the earth is verging on flat,   and if it isn’t,  in this here graveyard, we’ll roll the earth ’til it darn well looks flat.  

This ancient rusty garden roller was hidden under a Yew tree in a Devonshire graveyard,   covered in recent mowings and this year’s Ivy growth ready for use in the summer.   In the Church of England    Vergers often arrange for the care of the graveyard,   rolling the grounds.  

Is there a connection between the verge at the roadside and a Verger?    I’ve only been able to find,   create,  a tenuous link using  this phrase on the Vergers Guild of the Episcopalian Church website, my highlight:

assists the clergy in the conduct of public worship, especially in the marshalling of processions

it looks like part of the verger’s job description is making sure that processors don’t trample on the verges.

The Merriam-Webster defintion of Verge    differentiates the meanings like this:

1 a (1) : a rod or staff carried as an emblem of authority or symbol of office (2) obsolete : a stick or wand held by a person being admitted to tenancy while he swears fealty b : the spindle of a watch balance; especially : a spindle with pallets in an old vertical escapement c : the male copulatory organ of any of various invertebrates
2 a : something that borders, limits, or bounds: as (1) : an outer margin of an object or structural part (2) : the edge of roof covering (as tiling) projecting over the gable of a roof (3) British : a paved or planted strip of land at the edge of a road : SHOULDER b : BRINK, THRESHOLD <a country on the verge of destruction — Archibald MacLeish>

One way of imagining the  relationship between these two meanings is that the stick/wand/staff  (1a) is used to shepherd people on the borders/limits/marigns/edge (2a)  back into the fold.

Tombstones #7: the earth is verging on flat
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Tombstones #6: Violet Bart

Saturday, April 14th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

 

Violet Bart died in her 16th year on April 14th 1883.  On the gravestone Violet’s parents express their affection for her  with the words ‘beloved daughter of“.   No reason is given for her youthful demise.       Her gravestone is exceptional for England because it includes a black and white photograph that appears to have survived it’s 124 years outdoors extremely well.

Tombstones #6: Violet Bart
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Tombstones #5: mausolea

Friday, March 30th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

According to the Mausolea and Monuments Trust (UK) a Mausoleum is:

A mausoleum is a house of the dead. Larger than tombs, these buildings are free-standing roofed structures erected to receive coffins. They take their name from one of the Wonders of the Ancient World, the vast tomb of King Mausolus of Halicarnassus in Asia Minor. Most British mausolea date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Symbols of dynastivc pride, pious respect and love, they stand in their hundreds in churchyards, cemeteries and parks. Many of Britain’s finest architects were involved in their design. Neo-classical, Egyptian or Gothic, they form a varied, emotionally charged, and irreplaceable part of the built heritage….

…   In law they belong to those that built them, but in many cases the families have died out or lost interest.   Parish councils, local authorities and cemetery companies must ensure the buildings do not become dangerous, but are not responsible for their upkeep. So, as private monuments in the public domain, they fall outside the normal patterns of care.

 I’ve seen, noticed, very few mausolea in English graveyards,   they are the exceptional grave style reserved for the Wealthy or well respected.   Thier predominance in the 18th and 19th century maps to the new wealth and changing lifestyles that came with the Industrial Revolution.  

In the many, mainly village,  graveyards that I visited during the Tea and Tombstone Tour I noticed only these 2 Mausolea.   Decaying,   broken,   headless gargoyles,  rotting wooden doors,  in the Trowbridge cemetery

 

Tombstones #5: mausolea
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Tombstones #4: path liners

Sunday, March 18th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

 

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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Tombstones #3: lean on me

Monday, March 12th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

affection after death

Tombstones #3: lean on me
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Tombstones #2: sinking

Sunday, March 11th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

there’s a strange mix of neglect and care evident in the rural graveyards.   The grass is recently mowed,   graves more than 300 years are often collapsing and neglected.   In thier collapse they gain a beauty beyond that the Mason’s originally planned for them.    A clear reminder of our transient role in the universe.  

Tombstones #2: sinking
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Tombstones #1: dusk over Holy Trinity

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

The order of events upon arrival:

  1. tea
  2. pick-up hire-car
  3. tea
  4. drive to parents home
  5. tea
  6. walk mumzie around the local church, Holy Trinity,  graveyard before dusk claims the light for the day
  7. tea

Tombstones #1: dusk over Holy Trinity
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Caskets on display

Sunday, May 28th, 2006 | tags:  |


Caskets on display

Originally uploaded by :: Wendy ::.

Prepared for Memorial Day

Caskets on display
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