When travelling through the Norfolk countryside, if you were to stop at every church you passed, you’d be forced to invest in property and inform your family of your permeant change of residence. In short, it would take an age.
However, in my experience, I have found so many of these tiny parish churches filled to the rafters with historical artefacts, sculptures, artwork and more fascinating headstones than you can shake a sensible walking shoe at.
Fisk’s patent explains that ‘the air maybe exhausted so completely as entirely to prevent the decay of the contained body on principles well understood; or, if preferred, the coffin may be filled with any gas or fluid having the property of preventing putrefaction.’
Beside the towering shadow of Bristol’s St Mary Redcliffe church, sits an unassuming patch of grass, surrounded by trees and overlooked by an impressively unchanged 1980s bar.
In its relatively small grounds, it boasts ten listed buildings and monuments ‘including Grade II listed catacombs, an Anglican chapel, with the gatehouse, non-conformist chapel and the Egyptian Gateway, each listed at Grade II.’ It also holds the largest single grave plot in the country, holding the bodies of 96 poor residents.
In the centre of Birmingham, flanked by pubs and fashionable wine bars, stands a dinky cathedral and a handful of sporadically placed headstones.
...this large pit can be seen from above as a 20ft sheer drop, and a health and safety nightmare. Previously, this hollow was open to the public by means of a large ramp, but decades of dodgy cemetery partying has resulted in a large metal gate blocking the way, with access regulated by official tours alone.
Arnos Vale is simultaneously a working cemetery, a heritage site, a habitat and a veritable art gallery of historical remembrance.
Plastic flowers may last longer, but discolour and weather over time and similarly must be replaced. However, Victorian ‘Immortelles’ (from the French word for ‘everlasting’) offered a more lasting floral graveside option.
This week on ‘Burials and Beyond’, how to dispose of a body. As much as I’d delight in upholding such a click-bait-y introduction, clarification is – sadly – imminent. Unless you’re inclined to murder and subsequent concealment, any deceased individual will pass through a chain of death professionals before they meet their final resting place. … Continue reading Gravedigging 101