Yes, dear reader, it was three years ago in 2015 that I began this blog. A complete novice, I set it up in order to talk about primarily funerary symbols which are my main interest and to promote my work in progress which will be a book about them. One of my great pleasures in life is exploring cemeteries, graveyards and cemeteries to find new symbols to write about. But a word of warning, remember to take a camera with you and take photos of the graves around the one that you’ve chosen otherwise they can be difficult to relocate. I feel that symbols are the deceased’s final message to the world. It can either be a way to say goodbye or a message of comfort to those left behind. However, I can only speculate on the reasons for their choice.
But, while writing this blog, I’ve also become interested in the living residents of cemeteries – the wildlife. Often cemeteries are locked up at night and are usually quiet places which enable wildlife to flourish. There are often wild areas where the grass is left uncut and these can be a vital lifeline in an urban green space. They can support many different varieties of wildflowers, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, dragonflies and also foxes and birds. At a recent Brompton Cemetery Exploring Butterflies day 13 species of Butterflies were found. It’s interesting how people use cemeteries as one man enthusiastically recommended Brompton Cemetery’s plentiful supply of blackberries for his smoothies!
So, thanks to my readers and visitors for staying with me over the last 3 years. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts, photographs and theories on particular symbols. There’s plenty more to come including exploring what remains of the Necropolis Railway at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey, a return visit to Chaldon Church to look at the churchyard memorials and also to the place where my interest in cemeteries began, St Lawrence’s Hospital burial ground also in Surrey and a Roman necropolis surrounded by back gardens in Italy.
And as always there will be Symbol of the Month. It’s always fascinating to undertake the research for these as there may be several different interpretations of meaning and it can also led into other directions.
So please come with me through either the cemetery gates or perhaps the lychgate to a churchyard and let’s explore together. There’s a symbol over there that I haven’t seen before and although I’m not sure what it means now I soon will…..
©Text and photo Carole Tyrrell