Showing posts with label coffin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coffin. Show all posts

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Visiting Churches

Visiting Churches is one area that I love because you never know what you'll find. The Church is often the only communal property in the village and its the place where the unusual and the noteworthy is placed in the same way that we place unusual things on the mantelpiece.

The stone coffin from the 13th Century is this sort of unusual. The hole in the centre is the drain hole for the juices formed by decomposition and the floor of the Church would have formed the lid of the coffin. How insanitary is that? Whilst the parish Churches preserve the old coffins the Anglican Cathedral at Norwich turns one coffin into a flower planter.

13th Century coffin against the wall
© Godric Godricson

The  Anglican Authorities at Norwich Cathedral
turn an ancient coffin into a flower planter
© Godric Godricson

Sunday, 8 July 2012

18th Century Grave covers

18th Century Grave covers

All Saints - Newton by Castleacre
© Godric Godricson

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Mystery of a vault

Hawera & Normanby Star
"A tale of the mysterious movement of coffins in a sealed vault in the parish of Christchurch, Barbados, has long been told in the island. Fresh authentic evidence (1908) just brought to light and published this week in the West India Committee's Circular, confirms the story, and renders it mysterious in the extreme. On successive occasions when the  Chase family vault in the churchyard near Ostins Town was opened the coffins were found to be disarranged. A manuscript account by the Hon. Nathan Lucas, who witnessed the opening of the vault in 1820, has been unearthed. The document states that the vault was opened several times for the interment of bodies in the first decade of the nineteenth century. Each time the coffins were found in extraordinary positions, and after a burial in 1819.  Mr Lucas was discussing it with friends in 1820, and they decided there and then to see if the coffins had moved again. They found the heavy slabs over the entrance' untouched, and no marks of violence were anywhere visible. But in the vault itself the six coffins were once again disarranged, lying on top of each other and at certain angles. The vault was in such a position that waterr or which there were no signs could not have flooded it. There had been no earthquake to account for the mystery and no attempt to rob the corpses".

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Lead coffins

"The bursting of leaden coffins in the vaults of cemeteries, unless they are watched and "tapped" to allow the mephitic vapour to escape, appears to be not unfrequent. In cases of rapid decomposition, such instances occur in private houses before the entombment"


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Edwin Chadwick - "Practice of Interment in towns"

Ashill Parish Church
© Godric Godricson
Edwin Chadwick's report on burials is a seminal work that influenced a generation of people in the area of burials.  He reported on a variety of issues relating to burials and some areas are a little 'icky' by the standards of the early 21st Century. For the next few weeks I want to add some snippet's from Chadwick's work which are illuminating and show how far removed our own views on death are compared to the 19th Century. Here is the first snippet.......

“Some years since a vault was opened in the church-yard (Stepney), and shortly after one of the coffins contained therein burst with so loud a report that hundreds flocked to the place to ascertain the cause. So intense was the poisonous nature of the effluvia arising there from, that a great number were attacked with sudden sickness and  fainting, many of whom were a considerable period before they recovered their health.”


Sunday, 12 February 2012

St. Peter's Terrington - Norfolk

“The parish clerk of St. Peter’s, Terrington, has caused his coffin and gravestone to be prepared, although in excellent health.  The former he keeps in his sleeping room, and uses as a wardrobe, and the latter stands in the church, ready to be put down when required.  The stone contains the following:—
“This aged clerk, long ere he died,
His coffin had and placed by his bedside;
His neighbours all well know the truth is spoke—
’Twas made of Mr. John Perry’s best oak;
His old friend Death just touch’d him with his spear
And in pure kindness laid him quietly here.
“The upper part of the stone contains the name, with blanks for cutting age, &c., when the time of his dissolution shall take place.”

Title: Norfolk Annals  A Chronological Record of Remarkable Events in the Nineteeth Century, Vol. 1     Author: Charles Mackie