Monday, 1 October 2007

Churchyard of St Mary the Less, Durham


It seems to be the practice in my area to clear old gravestones from their original position and to stack them up around the edges of the churchyard. They can still be read but no longer mark the position of graves.

Someone told me a few years ago that here in Sunderland, our local council had cleared one of the older cemeteries and the headstones were stacked up in the public works depot along with other salvage and building materials. The public works depot moved to new premises more than 10 years ago and I guess the old headstones were broken up for rubble or hardcore.


Other blogs taking part in this month's theme day are:

St. Louis (MO), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Hyde, UK - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Toulouse, France - Arradon, France - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Joplin (MO), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Seattle (WA), USA - Baziège, France - Baltimore (MD), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Anderson (SC), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Nashville (TN), USA - Tenerife, Spain - Manila, Philippines - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Jacksonville (FL), USA - River Falls (WI), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Lubbock (TX), USA - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Moscow, Russia - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Minneapolis (MN), USA - New Orleans (LA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Toruń, Poland - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - London, England - Paderborn, Germany - The Hague, Netherlands - Selma (AL), USA - Sunderland, UK - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Stavanger, Norway - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Forks (WA), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Wellington, New Zealand - Montpellier, France - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Evry, France - Saarbrücken, Germany - New York City (NY), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - North Bay (ON), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cypress (TX), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Paris, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Prague, Czech Republic - Zurich, Switzerland - Budapest, Hungary - Paris, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Grenoble, France - Zurich, Switzerland - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Toronto (ON), Canada - Sequim (WA), USA - Chicago (IL), USA

11 comments:

Hyde DP said...

Hi Sharon -- adding you to the list shortly - you are only a late-poster on the theme - no objections from anyone about posting late in the end - it is those that say they'll run with the theme and then don't that bother folk.

Excellent theme post.

Gail's Man said...

Seems a sad end to someone's life. My local cemetery have done a similar thing.

Neva said...

Seems awful to dig up the dead and dispose of their headstones...creepy.

Kate said...

For anyone wanting to do family or historical research the practice of destroying old headstones I think is very unwise!

michelle said...

Fantastic photo--very sad from a sentimental standpoint that the stones have been moved, but very practical too. I guess I just realized I'm torn on the issue!

Lynette said...

It's interesting how many different things I've learned looking at these theme days posts.

slinger said...

very crappy....the photo is fantastic, their practice is crappy

R&R in The Netherlands said...

I've seen this in cemeteries in many countries ... it seems so disrespectful, especially when you think about how much history lies there. Nice pic.

Jilly said...

I've seen this before. Some of the headstones in Menton have been moved - but still they are 'THERE' as a memorial and that's how it is... I love the beauty of this photo.

Sharon said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments, they are much appreciated. xx

stml said...

Hi - I live in the building which owns St Mary the Less in Durham, and, the way I see it, at least the headstones are preserved safe out of the Durham wind and rain!! The burial ground hasn't actually been touched, and we do have a list of the burials here. The churchyard itself is so small and so exposed that the decision was taken to protect what we had, and many of the stones had already fallen down. Its originally a Norman church, and when the church itself was refurbished, a well preserved body from the 1700s was uncovered beneath the floor. Its a fascinating place.