Sunday, 10 June 2012

  European Royal Burial Sites

Have a look at this fantastic page for European burials sites around Europe. This site is well researched and well written and a joy to view. The photographs are new and show vaults etc that are not normally seen.

Burial in a new churchyard

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

"Even at the present day there is a prejudice more or less deeply rooted against a first burial in a new churchyard or cemetery. This prejudice is doubtless due to the fact that in early ages the first to be buried was a victim. Later on in the middle ages the idea seems to have been that the first to be buried became the perquisite of the devil, who thus seems in the minds of the people to have taken the place of the pagan deity. Not in England alone, but all over Northern Europe, there is a strong prejudice against being the first to enter a new building, or to cross a newly-built bridge. At the least it is considered unlucky, and the more superstitious believe it will entail death. All this is the outcome of the once general sacrificial foundation, and the lingering shadow of a ghastly practice".

High water and floods

© Godric Godricson
This is the sight outside the ancient Church of Saint Margaret in King's Lynn. It shows the height of various floods over the years and we can only guess at the problems caused. There is also the problems for interior vaults and tombs as described by 'The Sexton' who indicates the honeycomb nature of Churches as people quarry out burial spaces underneath.

Earl Godwin buried - 1053

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Project Gutenburg

A.D. 1053. In this year died Godwin, the earl, on the seventeenth before the kalends of May, and he is buried at Winchester, in the Old-minster; and Harold, the earl, his son, succeeded to the earldom, and to all that which his father had held: and Elgar, the earl, succeeded to the earldom which Harold before held.