Saturday, 30 June 2012

The ruins of Saint Andrew - Southolm Juxta Hale

I'm interested in Church ruins because they often contain lost graveyards and a source of social history. Regrettably the site of  Saint Andrew (Southolm Juxta Hale) is a bit of a mystery. I know where the Church should be in the landscape although there is clearly nothing on the surface. Industrial ploughing has taken away the site of the building in the plough soil and the locals have robbed out the stone and flint. Whilst the remains of the departed are no longer commemorated they continue to rest in this magnificent environment.

From the Anglican Church website.... "Holme Hale was originally two lordships: Holm and Hale, both held in the 14th century from Lord Fitzwalter: Holm by Sir Robert de Hulmo and Hale by Sir Edmund de Illeye. The two lordships were separate, distinct places, each with a church dedicated to St Andrew. The Black death in 1349 decimated the population, and the two lordships were eventually combined in about 1375, doubtless on the authority of Edward III"

It's a pity that the modern Church of Saint Andrew in the nearby village of Holme Hale has always been locked when visited. Doubtless through the needs of the Anglican clergy and community.

Saint Andrew - The deserted village of 'Southolm Juxta Hale'.
The faithful departed under the field
© Godric Godricson

Friday, 29 June 2012

Shingham - Saint Botolph

Saint Botolph - Shingham
The Church stands in admirable isolation

© Godric Godricson
I love "Planet Norfolk" partly because it has so many interesting places and it throws up surprises in abundance.

I like to be surprised by Churches and graveyards in out of the way places and I found Shingham in this manner.

I'd never heard of the place before although the Church is a little jewel. The graveyard is large and has the air of a site that has at some point been cleared of many memorials and left as a large parkland. Saint Botolph sits in this park and dominates the consecrated site like a ship in a dry dock. At some point it feels as though the Church will slip its moorings and sail away.

This Grade 1 listed Church is Norman and has a beautiful door although (after peeking into the wndows) the interior has gone to rack and ruin under the disinterested watch of the Anglican Authorities who argue in an animated way about the sex lives of consenting adults whilst  national treasures slip away into the ground. The Church needs to be protected from the 'care' of the Authorities before the building finally crumbles away like others in this area. If this is the care that a grade 1 listed building receives then I query the fate of the others.

Saint Botolph - Shingham
The Norman arch

© Godric Godricson

Saint Botolph - Shingham
Detail from the Norman arch

© Godric Godricson

Saint Botolph - Shingham
Detail from the Norman arch
© Godric Godricson

Thursday, 28 June 2012

John Woolsey Died 1812

John Woolsey Died 1812
 Saint Mary - Burgh Next Aylsham

© Godric Godricson

All at sea off Malta

"Sea burials are not a common occurrence in Malta, but a recent one created some embarrassing moments when a coffin containing the corpse of a foreigner, was lowered into the waters only to float straight back to the surface". For the full story from "Malta Today" take this link

Book recommendation

Death and the Noble Body in Medieval England : Danielle Westerhoff

I don't normally recommend books as the majority seem overpriced in an internet age of 'just in time printing'. This book is just shy of £50 and that's expensive by anyone's standards in an age of austerity. Have a look at the online version and see what you think. The book is well written and gives an inspiring account of burials where there is a seperation of the vicera/heart and the entire body. This is something that I haven't  written about and something of which I hadn't been much aware. I would suggest having a cheeky online read for an abridged glimpse into this unusual world of double and triple burial.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Joshua 24:33


33 And Eleazar son of Aaron died and was buried at Gibeah, which had been allotted to his son Phinehas in the hill country of Ephraim.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Latin Requiem Mass: (Amsterdam)

"Tridentine Mass from the Amsterdam-based church of St. Agnes. Mass for the deceased. Church can be found at the Amstelveenseweg 163, situated near the Haarlemmermeerstation and the City Jailhouse. Can be reached easily by tram 16 from the Central station (stop Haarlemmermeerstation). Served by the Papal Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter with approval of the bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam, Dr. J. M. Punt."

Friday, 22 June 2012


© Godric Godricson

Amos 2:1

All Saints - Skeyton

© Godric Godricson
Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Moab,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because he burned to lime
the bones of the king of Edom.

The text is one of those that cause us to doubt the providential nature of God. How do we believe in a providential God when we hear that God has such a close and personal wish to punish the Moabites. Weren't Moabites after all the children of God and part of the created environment? The Old Testament is a little confused about the relationship of God and humanity in this text contained in Amos. More particularly we have to consider what God had against the burning of the bones of an Edomite King. What exactly was going on here and is it possible now to make anything coherent of this text?

Yes, Israel had a rather confused long term relationship with the Moabites although this seems a little weak as an excuse for treating them so badly and the main reason for the action against the Moabites does seem to be the burning of the bones of a King. Cremation can be seen as a problem for Amos and perhaps even in the degree of burning. The bones, after all, are not simply burnt they are burned to lime. That is they are totally destroyed beyond any hope of being reconstituted. The bones of the Edomite king are turned into an almost industrial product by reducng human remains to lime. The implication being that once the bones were turned into lime then they could be used for any profane purpose. In burning the bones into lime the Moabites are turning the world order upside down and that leads where exactly?

This text seems to be a clear injunction against cremation and a clear reference to the natural social order of things.  Common people do not burn the bones of a King. Hierarchy and the natural order are there to be maintained and the bones of Kings are not to be destroyed and potentially used as a building material any more than God is to be ignored. Strange texts for a strange time.

I'm not sure where this text leaves us in relation to burials and funerals in the ancient world although it clearly says something about the nature and temperament of God and he appears less than providential.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Elizabeth Knolles (Née Wegge) Died 1641

St Michael-Swanton Abbot

© Godric Godricson

For  a translation of this tablet see Simon Knott's excellent web site  on this Link

Sarah Watling

St Michael-Swanton Abbot
© Godric Godricson

You may remember the story of Sarah Watling earlier in this blog dating to 1833. Sarah's body was unlawfully removed from the graveyard as part of a 'body snatching' raid.  I have always been surprised at the idea of stealing a body which seems a noisy and difficult business. However, when I visited this graveyard the idea of body snatching became more understandable as a process. The graveyard is remote and away from prying eyes and its easy to trudge across the fields or take a cart along the lane.  I'm sure that Sarah Watling was the tip of the ice berg and that other bodies were removed from their graves ahead of time.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Premature interment

Dealings With The Dead
Vol 2  Project Gutenburg
"In 1777, Dr. William Hawes, the founder of the Humane Society in London, published an address, on premature interment. This is a curious and valuable performance. I cannot here withhold the statement, that this excellent man, before the formation of the Humane Society, for several years, offered rewards, and paid them from his own purse, for the rescue of persons from drowning, between Westminster and London bridge. Dr. Hawes remarks, that the appearance of death has often been mistaken for the reality, in apoplectic, and fainting fits, and those, arising from any violent agitation of the mind, and from the free use of opium and spirituous liquors. Children, he observes, have often been restored, who have apparently died in convulsions. In case of fevers, in weak habits, or when the cure has been chiefly attempted, by means of depletion, the patient often sinks into a state, resembling death; and the friends, in the opinion of Dr. Hawes, have been fatally deceived. In small pox, he remarks, when the pustules sink, and death apparently ensues, means of restoration should by no means be neglected".

Herbert Grix - April 1960

St Mary-Burgh-next-Aylsham

© Godric Godricson

Chest Tomb array

Saint Andrew - Bacton

© Godric Godricson

Rinaldo Sceberras-Testaferrata

Upper Barraka Gardens - Valetta  [Link]
© Godric Godricson

Find a Grave [Link]

Sunday, 17 June 2012


© Godric Godricson

Traditionalist English piety

© Godric Godricson


© Godric Godricson
I really enjoy visiting Churches and older (more rural) graveyards. They have at their core the history of England and the English people. Fresh and alive; the graveyard has an energy that presents itself as wildlife. Visiting Saint Mary, Heacham, I saw a woodpecker flying from monument to monument  and the graveyard metaphorically sprang to life. The site is beautiful and surprisingly large. There's a conservation area to the East End of the Church with a large manicured area on the other sides. The manicured area gives the impression of a large park and on a bright day the graveyard was beautiful with memorials and plants. The wildlife area shimmered with ox eye daisies and wild grasses that are held into a sort of managed wilderness. I liked the way that a few mowed paths made it easy to see the memorials whilst preserving an air of managed decay. Excellent for the visitor and the woodpecker.

The memorials in the graveyard are a varied group from the  18th Century onwards and into the 20th Century a small area is given over to the burial of children which is a sensitive use of resources for bereaved parents. Needless to say, I don’t take photographs of new graves and (as a general rule) don’t post photographs of memorials under 50 years old. The graveyard has a number of war dead and I can only imagine that there is an old base nearby or perhaps a hospital for wounded combatants. The deceased are always so young and taken away too soon.

Princess Pocahontas
© Godric Godricson
The Church of Saint Mary is magnificent as a traditional Anglican structure and doesn’t disappoint as an internal graveyard. The floor is full of ‘in Church burials’ and there is a good collection of monuments to the Rolfe family so connected with Pocahontas. As a child I had always imagined that this native American Princess was a sort of made up character that was developed by the Disney Corporation. It was a real surprise to find that Pocahontas really did exist. Connected with Heacham; Pocahontas has a memorial here in the Church although she died at a deplorably young age.

I want to say something about the Church itself which was a real shocker in some ways. It is always sad when beautiful Churches are taken over by Christians who don’t know how to manage a resource for the entire community.  Saint Mary’s is currently a building that has been used as a children’s art class. The interior is a tribute to modernist Anglicanism. I was dismayed to find homemade modern banners hanging  around the Church and ‘non-liturgical tat’ that proclaimed a contemporary and Evangelical message as well as images of the Rolfe’s and Pocahontas. I anticipate that this Anglican parish could be a real problem for thoughtful local Anglicans who wish to continue a prayerful existence amongst the ‘child friendly environment’. The building was kept clean although it had been taken down a track that I’ve seen in many Churches where one part of the community has become dominant.

© Godric Godricson
I mention Evangelicals because the Church  has a notice board advertising lectures against “Homosexual Marriage”. This Church is arguably not proclaiming the historical Established Anglican mission across the entire community and one wonders what it’s like to be a Lesbian or Gay member of the congregation or even clergy in this sort of milieu? This is a Church that has apparently become a community centre for militant Evangelicals rather than being part of the wider historic ministry of the Anglican Diocese of Norwich. Having said negative things about the Church Authorities, it seems that the parish is at the very least keeping the Church open and maintained and in an age when so many buildings are being closed and lost this is to be commended. I do, however, wish that they would clear away the modernism that demeans the Church and its history.

The body of a saint

Life and Doctrine
of Saint Catherine of Genoa  
"Of her burial, and how the body was preserved in the midst of great moisture and putrefaction.—How many prayers were granted by her intercession, and a person restored to health.—Of the order she gave to have her heart opened, which was not done.  The body of this saint was interred in the principal hospital of the city of Genoa, in which, for many years, she had served the sick. It was first put in a beautiful wooden case, near the wall under which it was not noticed that an aqueduct passed. It remained there nearly a year, and when it was disinterred, the tow laid around the body was filled and covered with large worms that had been generated by the moisture produced by the water; but not one had touched the holy body, which was entire from head to foot, and the flesh dried rather than consumed. Crowds of people flocked to see this wonderful sight, so that it was found necessary to expose it for eight days. But as some depredations had been committed on it, it was enclosed in a chapel where it might be seen and not touched. It caused great surprise when the cloths that wrapped it, and even the wood of the coffin, were seen to be destroyed and spoiled, and the body uncorrupted and without a stain".

William Withers Died 9th April 1832

© Godric Godricson

This is clearly a stone in danger of falling apart from shelling. I anticipate that the next frost will see the outer shell fall away and the inscription collapsing to the ground. William Withers is the son of George and Mary and there was a Withers family at Newton by Castle Acre.

Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)

"LIVING in a country village, where a burial was a rarity, I never thought of death, it was so seldom presented unto me. Coming to London, where there is plenty of funerals, (so that coffins crowd one another, and corpses in the grave justle for elbow-room,) I slight and neglect death, because grown an object so constant and common.

How foul is my stomach to turn all food into bad humours? Funerals neither few nor frequent, work effectually upon me. London is a library of mortality. Volumes of all sorts and sizes, rich, poor, infants, children, youth, men, old men, daily die; I see there is more required to make a good scholar, than only the having of many books: Lord, be thou my schoolmaster, and teach me to number my days, that I may apply my heart unto wisdom".

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Charles Calaby 30th April 1817

© Godric Godricson

Nun lasst uns den Leib begraben

Michael Weiss. 1531
Now lay we calmly in the grave

This form, whereof no doubt we have

That it shall rise again that Day

In glorious triumph o'er decay.

And so to earth again we trust

What came from dust, and turns to dust,

And from the dust shall surely rise

When the last trumpet fills the skies.

His soul is living now in God

Whole grace his pardon hath bestow'd,

Who through His Son redeem'd him here

From bondage unto sin and fear.

His trials and his griefs are past,

A blessed end is his at last,

He bore Christ's yoke, and did His will,

And though he died, he liveth still.

He lives where none can mourn and weep,

And calmly shall this body sleep

Till God shall Death himself destroy,

And raise it into glorious joy.

He suffer'd pain and grief below,

Christ heals him now from all his woe,

For him hath endless joy begun,

He shines in glory like the sun.

Then let us leave him to his rest,

And homeward turn, for he is blest,

And we must well our souls prepare,

When death shall come, to meet him there.

Then help us, Christ, our Hope in loss!

Thou hast redeem'd us by Thy cross

From endless death and misery;

We praise, we bless, we worship Thee!

Sir Horatio Pettus

© Godric Godricson

Subterranean chapels

History of the Christian Church,
Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity.
A.D. 311-600. 
Philip Schaff (1819-1893)

"Finally, after the time of Constantine it became customary to erect small houses of worship or memorial chapels upon the burial-places of the martyrs, and to dedicate them to their memory.  Hence the name μαρτύρια, martyrum memoriae, confessiones. The clergy who officiated in them were called κληρικοὶ μαρτυρίων, martyrarii. The name capellae occurs first in the seventh and eighth centuries, and is commonly derived from the cappa (a clerical vestment covering the head and body) of St. Martin of Tours, which was preserved and carried about as a precious relic and as a national palladium of France. These served more especially for private edification.

The subterranean chapels, or crypts, were connected with the churches built over them, and brought to mind the worship of the catacombs in the times of persecution. These crypts always produce a most earnest, solemn impression, and many of them are of considerable archaeological interest".

Floor tile - Suffield

© Godric Godricson

Friday, 15 June 2012

The Cemeteries of Priscilla and Domitilla.

Church in Rome in the First Century
Author: Edmundson, George (1849-1930)
During the first century of our era the Romans almost universally practised cremation for the disposal of their dead.

The law of the XII Tables supposes inhumation as well as cremation to be in use; but cremation gradually became the vogue and it was not until the age of the Antonines that, largely through the influence of Christianity and other Oriental cults, a reversion to the practice of inhumation began to take place. The early Christians from the first adopted the Jewish custom of burial, and their tombs were, whenever circumstances permitted, fashioned after the likeness of those in Palestine, sepulchres like that of the Lord Jesus Christ. No burials were permitted within the city of Rome; but the beds of soft volcanic tufa which lay beneath the soil of the suburban area afforded easy facilities for the excavation of subterranean galleries, vaults, and crypts in which to lay the dead. Hence gradually in the course of the first four centuries came into existence that vast underground city of the dead, often incorrectly spoken of as the Roman Catacombs. The word Catacombs strictly applies to one small cemetery only, the locus ad catacumbas.

The meaning of the term is uncertain. De Rossi gives it a hybrid derivation from κατά and cubitorium, but this is very doubtful. where the bodies of St. Peter and St. Paul in 258 A.D. found a temporary resting-place. The first Christian cemeteries differed in no way from those of the Jewish community, three of which have been discovered and explored. There has been much written on the subject of the Roman Catacombs which does not need consideration here. The cemeteries of the first century, whatever may have been the case later, were the property of private persons of rank and wealth, and were intended in the first place for the use of the family to which the owners belonged, also for that of their clients, freedmen and slaves, and by permission  for other poor persons belonging to the Christian brotherhood. As yet there was no question of the formation of Collegia funeratica or Burial Guilds, though it is regarded as highly probable that such organisations with their collective ownership and special privileges did exist in the third century; indeed it is known that the several cemeteries were each attached to a titulus—or parish church. But this was not the case in the period with which we are dealing, when the places of assembly for congregational worship were still private houses—ecclesiae domesticae. 

Saxon Church with
tombs under
© Godric Godricson

The most ancient parts of the cemeteries of Priscilla and DomitilIa and the crypt of Lucina, which date from Apostolic times, were family vaults constructed beneath the property of the person after whose name they are called, and granted by that person, as a ‘locus sacer’ placed under the protection of the Roman Law (lex monumenti). Henceforward the tomb was held inviolable, whatever might be the religion of those interred in it. The plot of ground (area) was often enclosed by walls, or its dimensions were engraved on boundary stones. Sometimes the inscription is found ‘Sibi suisque, libertis libertabusque posterisque eorum,’ sometimes the letters H.M.H.N.S.—‘hoc monumentum haeredem non sequitur.’ The administration of the leges monumentorum lay within the jurisdiction of the pontifices, who were thus the legal guardians of the inviolability of the burial-places thus granted, and their leave was required for the deposition of the bodies in the tombs or their translation, or indeed for the holding of anniversary festivals or rites or for any changes in the construction or character of the monuments. These powers do not seem to have been arbitrarily or vexatiously used, but it must always be remembered that they did exist and that the catacombs were in no sense secret and unknown hiding-places of the early Christians, but, with the exception perhaps of a few small subterranean crypts carefully concealed, like the Platonic chamber in which the bodies of the Apostles for awhile were laid, were registered and thus known to the magistrates.

15th Century brass

© Godric Godricson

I have found very little brass in Churches so far and this is either because it has been stolen or has been covered up by carpets and new furniture. This is a small fragment of brass from the 15th century and in a working Church. I have not said where its sited for reasons of security. The brass is beautiful although in reality it is only a few inches across from side to side.

Burials at Old Saint Paul's Cathedral

Burials at
Old Saint Pauls
Project Gutenburg
St. Paul's, as we see, was rich in tombs of mediæval bishops; as to Royalty it could not be named as compared with Westminster Abbey, for the City was not a royal residence except in very rare cases. But here we come to two tombs of Kings. Sebba was buried in the North Aisle in 695. He had been King of the East Saxons, but being afflicted with grievous sickness he became a monk. His tomb remained until the Great Fire, as did that of Ethelred the Unready, next to it. On the arches above were tablets containing the following inscriptions:—
"Hic jacet Sebba Rex Orientalium Saxonum; qui conversus fuit ad fidem per Erkenwaldum Londonensem Episcopum, anno Christ DCLXXVII. Vir multum Deo devotus, actibus religiosis, crebris precibus & piis elemosynarum fructibus plurimum intentus; vitam privatam & Monasticam cunctis Regni divitiis & honoribus præferens: Qui cum regnasset annos XXX. habitum religiosum accepit per benedictionem Waltheri Londinensis Antistitis, qui præfato Erkenwaldo successit. De quo Venerabilis Beda in historia gentis Anglorum."1
"Hic jacet Ethelredus Anglorum Rex, filius Edgari Regis; cui in die consecrationis his, post impositam Coronam, fertur S. Dunstanus Archiepiscopus dira prædixisse his verbis: Quoniam aspirasti ad regnum per mortem fratris tui, in cujus sanguinem conspiraverunt Angli, cum ignominiosa matre tua; non deficiet gladius de domo tua, sæviens in te omnibus diebus vitæ tuæ; interficiens de semine tuo quousque Regnum tuum transferatur in Regnum alienum, cujus ritum et linguam Gens cui præsides non novit; nec expiabitur nisi longa vindicta peccatum tuum, & peccatum matris tuæ, & peccatum virorum qui interfuere consilio illius nequam: Quæ sicut a viro sancto prædicta evenerunt; nam Ethelredus variis præliis per Suanum Danorum Regem filiumque suum Canutum fatigatus et fugatus, ac tandem Londoni arcta obsidione conclusus, misere diem obiit Anno Dominicæ Incarnationis MXVII. postquam annis XXXVI. in magna tribulatione regnasset."
Certainly in this latter terrible epitaph, it cannot be said that the maxim de mortuis was observed. But it speaks the truth.

Of a much later date is a royal monument, not indeed of a king, but of the son and father of kings, namely, John of Gaunt. He died in 1399, and his tomb in St. Paul's was as magnificent as those of his father in the Confessor's Chapel at Westminster, and of his son at Canterbury. It was indeed a Chantry founded by Henry IV. to the memory of his father and mother, Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster. She was Gaunt's first wife (d. 1369), and bore him not only Henry IV., but Philippa, who became wife of the King of Portugal, and Elizabeth, wife of John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon. It was through Blanche that Gaunt got his dukedom of Lancaster. She died of plague in 1369, during his absence in the French Wars, and was buried here. Before his return to England he had married (in 1371) Constance, daughter of Pedro the Cruel, and hereby laid claim to the crown of Castile, as the inscription on his monument recorded. Their daughter married Henry, Prince of the Asturias, afterwards King of Castile. Constance died in 1394, and was also buried in St. Paul's, though her effigy was not on the tomb. In January, 1396, he married Catharine Swynford, who had already borne him children, afterwards legitimised. One of them was the great Cardinal Beaufort; another, John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset, was the grandfather of Margaret Tudor, mother of Henry VII. Gaunt's third wife (d. 1403) is buried at Lincoln. The long inscription on the monument closed with the words, "Illustrissimus hic princeps Johannes cognomento Plantagenet, Rex Castilliæ et Legionis, Dux Lancastriæ, Comes Richmondiæ, Leicestriæ, Lincolniæ et Derbiæ, locum tenens Aquitaniæ, magnus Seneschallus Angliæ, obiit anno XXII. regni regis Ricardi secundi, annoque Domini MCCCXCIX."

Close by John of Gaunt, between the pillars of the 6th bay of the Choir, was the tomb of WILLIAM HERBERT (1501-1569), first Earl of Pembroke of the second creation, a harum-scarum youth, who settled down into a clever politician, and was high in favour with Henry VIII., who made him an executor of his will, and nominated him one of the Council of twelve for Edward VI. He went through the reign of Mary not without suspicion of disloyalty, but was allowed to hold his place at Court, and in the reign of Queen Elizabeth he was accused of favouring the Queen of Scots, though here also he overcame the suspicions, and did not lose his place. He married Anne, the sister of Queen Catherine Parr, and they were both buried in St. Paul's.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Mary Norman Died 8th December 1830

© Godric Godricson

Edward Palmer Died 24th March 1862

© Godric Godricson

Frederick George Preston

© Godric Godricson

Kingborrow Martin

All Saints - Newton by Castle Acre

© Godric Godricson
This picture isn’t the best in the world and I have no real excuse for showing it other than the marvellous name of “Kingborrow” which I have never heard of before. It sounds like a man’s name although in this context it is the name of a woman in Newton by Castle Acre in Norfolk. This is an ‘in Church burial’ and the headstone is in the East End of the Church near to the altar. I’m guessing from the geographical location that the Martin clan were quite well off financially and probably had links to the local landowners if they weren’t the landowners themselves. Snug and cosy in the small East End, Kingborrow  Martin rests along with other Martin relatives. This parish, with its Saxon roots, means that the East End is confined and cosy a sort of private area for the clergy and I’m sure that’s how the Saxon ancestors liked it. What they would have made of the Martin’s muscling in is any ones guess.

The memorial set into the floor is an intrusion and Kingborrow should really have been buried outside. The memorials here form the contemporary floor although the 19th Century memorials get in the way of the calm and cool interior which would be better left in the Saxon past. I know that people will say that Kingborrow is part of the heritage of the Church and is now part of the story although I would argue that the Martin’s crept into the Church and placed themselves into the history of the building without any request. Perhaps they should now be cleared away as part of a formal and planned archaeological examination of the building?

For now Kingborrow rests in her grave safe and sound although they are a sign of burials in Churches that turned the house of God into a charnel house.

Johannes Cayworth - Died 13th December 1637

Saint Margaret of Antioch - Suffield
© Godric Godricson

For the Anglican record see this link

1 Timothy 3

New International Version (NIV)

Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Weathering processes

"It is customary to associated particular types of gravestones or environments with particular weathering processes. Marble gravestones, for example, are expected or rather assumed, to decay mainly by dissolution by acidic rainfall (remembering that natural rainfall is slightly acidic anyway being a weak carbonic acid with a pH of 5.6) Dissolution is assumed to remove matrix and grains from the surface of the gravestone producing a 'sugary' surface". [For the full story on the decay of monuments from the University of Portsmouth (UK) see this link.]

Saint Margaret of Antioch - Suffield

© Godric Godricson
 There is something sad about this notice board with nothing in it. So much for the life of the parish.

North Side burials

Ecclesiastical Curiosities - (1898)
Editor: William Andrews
Project Gutemburg

"Yet there are prevalent ideas or notions, about the churchyard and its sleepers, as deep-rooted as any wild superstition, and perhaps as difficult to solve, or to trace to any rational source. I would here mention one of the most strange, and probably one of the most prejudiced notions to be met with relating to burial in the churchyard. I refer to the East Anglian prejudice of being buried on the north side of the church. That this prejudice is a strong one, among the country people in certain parts of England, is proved by the scarcity of graves, nay, in many instances the total absence of graves, on the north side of our churches".

Eric Wilfrid Green Died 14 April 1945

Saint Mary - Antingham, Norfolk

© Godric Godricson


Ann Harwood Died 1800

Saint Margaret of Antioch - Suffield

© Godric Godricson