Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Art of Tombstones and Churchyards

I often used to walk through churchyards growing up in England. Nothing to do with being into the spooky. They are places full of history and interesting tombstones. This is one of my favourites. I used to see it when I cut across the churchyard to get to the bus stop on the other side.
It is called Haddon's Tomb (c.1717) and is located in Heworth Church, St. Mary's, "was probably founded by Ceolfrid, abbot of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, within two years of the consecration of Jarrow Church, A.D. 684." Of course the current building isn't that old, it was built in the 1800's. It always fascinated me and I wondered who the three children were in this stone four-poster bed, tucked under a Durham quilt. It wasn't until my trip home in September that a neighbour told me they were the children of Joesph Haddon and had all died in a fire.

This is a gravestone in the churchyard of St. Mary's Church (now a visitor center) in Gateshead by the Sage (or the slug as the locals call it). Again another very old church (going back to the normans) and some of the gravestones are so old they no longer have writing on them.

This gallery has some fabulous photos of funerary sculptures around the world.Here you can find a grave of any famous artist or famous person, along with bio info, etc.


Ian said...

I am not commenting on the art gravestone thing as I find it spooky! I do like your taste in foodd though and having lived in Brasil for many years I can see where your coming from.

Heres a tip for cheese on toast snacks, grate cheese (American cheddar YUK) Better with mature english, chop onions small and mix to a paste with mayonnaise. cook under grill until golden brown yummy!!!!!!!!!
Why I man!
Lucky I am back in England now but not nice circumstances.
Take Care Geordie lass.

Anonymous said...

I am fascinated by cemetaries! Whenever I have the opportunity to visit Paris, I can spend hours at Pere Lachaise looking for Heloise and Abelard and of course Jim Morrison!

When in London, I never pass up an opportunity to be a good tourist and do the brass rubbings at St. Martin-in-the-fields!

jafabrit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jafabrit said...

Hi Ian,
hum, mayo, interesting, will have to give it a try and I AGREE about the cheese. sorry circumstances are not so great for you. Had a look at your website.I can't decide if I like your portaits, landscapes or your horses the best. Really nice work.
Did you like living in Brasil?

You know I got used to graveyards early in life, our brownie meetings were in the church hall smack in the middle of the graveyard. We used to have camp outs in the graveyard, now how spooky is that LOL!

Cynthia, I imagine if we lived near each other we would be scouting out the local cemetaries, cameras or sketchbooks in hand LOL! Seems like you have seen quite a few.

Janvangogh said...

The kids in the bed is odd. I think the most elaborate one in my childhood church was one with an urn -- may have had one with an angel carved into a slab. Otherwise they were pretty plain. I used to have to clip the grass around them that the mowers couldnt reach.

Snoo said...

Love graveyards. Don't know why. Link to the past? Imagine the stories?
Anyway, glad you had such a great time back home in good old geordieland.
You were a brownie too! Funny.

jafabrit said...

snoo, you're back, yea!!! did I have a nice holiday? why eye man,had a great time pet.
What about you, how was your hols? look forward to seeing some pics on your blog. Yep, was a brownie, and I had to do the stupid flying over the toadstool thingy to graduate into the girl guides LOL!

I neer quite thought of it being odd jan, but I guess it's because I was just used to seeing it. funny how you take some things for granted. check this one out in michigan.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jafasis!
Loving your blog...always interesting to look at and love the links and research.
Did you try the new cheese on toast recipe...yummy :))))) (thanks Ian!!!)
Be in touch soon.
We are missing you over this side of the pond.

LynClay said...

Count me in as one of those fascinated with old tombstones and graveyards. They are just so mysterious and full of history. Oh that's so sad about the children who died in the fire and what an interesting tombstone with them in a bed made of stone...I'm getting chills! I would so love to visit over in England someday! One of these days...

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

I use to love grave yards... now I can take them or leave them. The older ones with the large headstones I think hold some beauty and mystery. The newer ones ... well, I find they are cold, lacking any imagination. I guess what they are really lacking in is space....

Janvangogh said...

Lol! Were those tree stumps?

MAD ART said...

What a sad story about the tomb. But, the photo and the tomb itself have a lot of mystery and beauty with nature surrounding the tomb.

I also wanted to drop by and send you a personal thank you regarding my "work in progress" on my blog. It's Finished! Be sure to check it out. I am also having a little contest related to the painting-you could win a print of the painting, so be sure and stop by! All the Best, Megan

Dr.John said...

Those tombstones teach us that even the monuments we make for ourselves fade away.When I was in England I went to a number of family grave sites and thought of all the family history given there. birth and death.

Betty said...

As a child I liked going into the graveyards. There was family history there, and there were beautiful stones there.