While flora and fauna in cemeteries is a fascinating topic of its own, today’s post will just be focusing on one. The granddaddy of all cemetery trees, the yew.
Instead of considering glass coffins and mausoleums, physician Timothy Clark Smith had rather more practical ideas...
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.
Taphophobia. The fear of being buried alive. The subject of nightmares since time immemorial. With today’s modern medicine, there’s little chance of these fears becoming reality, however, for many centuries, it was a very real threat.