This unusual cross symbolizing the crucifixion of Jesus is used in Orthodox Christian religions (Russian and Greek) and was most likely introduced by the apostle Andrew who introduced Christianity to Russia.

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The upper horizontal bar represents the inscription over the head of Jesus. The Middle Bar is the board on which the Lord’s hands were nailed, and the slanting bar represents the footrest.


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In Canada, many cemeteries are owned and maintained by local government while others are owned by private corporations. In the case of privately owned or non profit corporations, the municipality may take over the care and maintenance of the abandoned property if it is deemed unsafe.

Bronte Pioneer Cemetery 1986

The term abandoned cemetery is universally accepted, yet the criteria differs within countries, provinces and states. If a cemetery has not been maintained for a period (number of years varies) an ordinance may be enacted to declare it abandoned.

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In North America, if cemetery land is purchased, the interred bodies must be removed and reburied elsewhere. A land transfer is required; the next of kin of the deceased must be contacted; there must be an orderly removal of remains and reburial in an appropriate location including all gravestones, tombs and other markers which must be re-erected.

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Section 60 of the Canadian Cemeteries Act states that once a cemetery has been declared abandoned and is registered as such with the appropriate land registry, the municipality becomes the owner of the property and is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the grounds and its assets.

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The Written Word

The sculpture of a hand writing symbolizes names being written in the Book of Life.


This image is also found on writers’ graves.

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Creative Commons License.’

Come near my friends and cast an eye
Then go your way prepare to die
Learn here your doom, and know you must
One day like me be turned to dust
header_Webster verse

This lovely bud so young and fair
Called hence by early doom
Just came to show how sweet a flow’r
In paradise could bloom.   1814

She is not dead and only sleeps
In thee how sweet her sleep!
No more to shed the parting tear
Or speak the farewell word
But through eternity to live
Forever with the Lord.   1877
Oakville_verse (2)

My life was like the Autumn’s leaf
That trembles in the moon’s pale ray
Its hold was frail – its date was brief
Restless – and soon it pass’d away.   1853
Oakville_verse (3)

This stone is so eroded that the entire verse is difficult to read
… sleeps his memory doth live
And … comforts to his … give
He followed virtue as his … …
Died as a Christian … … …
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The following examples are clear and legible as is the message they relate.

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Let’s Get Creepy

Polloe Cemetery, San Sebastian, Spain
Durisdeer Churchyard, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Durisdeer Churchyard, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

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Messina, Sicily

A cemetery monument dedicated to a mother and child who were found dead in an embrace under the rubble of the earthquake in Messina 1908.

Hill of Crosses, near the city of Šiauliai, in northern Lithuania.
Melaten-Friedhof, Cologne, Germany
Holocaust memorial, Pere Lachaise, Paris, France
Brugges cemetery, Belgium
Ingolstadt, Bavaria


Poblenou Cemetery, Barcelona, Spain
Poblenou Cemetery, Barcelona, Spain

1930 sculpture titled Kiss of Death depicts death planting a kiss on a young man’s forehead.

Johannis Cemetery, Nürnberg, Germany


Cimitero Monumentale, Milan, Italy
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Cementiri de Montjuïc, Barcelona, Spain


Port Charlotte Florida
Spanish moss on trees in Florida


Navvies’ Burial Ground

The term “Navvy” was coined in the late 18th century in Britain when the canals were being built, also known as navigations.

The historical Elvanfoot Bridge (aka Telford Bridge) in South Lanarkshire, Scotland is located on the B7076 as it crosses the River Clyde, and in1806 it was the main road from Glasgow to Carlisle. During construction of the Caledonian railway from Glasgow to Carlisle, 37 Irish navigators died during a typhus outbreak in 1840.

A small graveyard containing 37 unmarked stones lies within a railed enclosure which is now overgrown. The ground was consecrated in 1847 by the Bishop of Glasgow, and a memorial plaque was placed on a stone wall 110 years later.

Erected 1916 / In memory of / Thirty seven workmen who died / While engaged in the construction / Of the Caledonian Railway and / Were buried in this ground which / Was consecrated 12 August 1847 by / Michael Russell Bishop of Glasgow.

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