A Few Photos

A few images of cemeteries that appealed to my artistic bent.

Source: gothiclife
Source: gothiclife


Source: gothiclife
Dublin, Ireland
Mooreland, England


The Auld Kirkyard in Alloway, Scotland, is the resting place of William Burns who died in 1784. He was the father of Robert Burns, Scotland’s nation’s Bard and world renowned poet.


The gravestone is engraved with the standard information regarding birth and death. However, on the back of the headstone is an epitaph written by Robert Burns for his father. The last line is from a poem called The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith.


O YE, whose cheek the tear of pity stains,
Draw near with pious reverence and attend!
Here lie the loving husband’s dear remains,
The tender father, and the generous friend:
The pitying heart that felt for human wo!
The dauntless heart that fear’d no human pride!
The friend of man, to vice alone a foe,
“For ev’n his failings lean’d to virtues side.”

Cramped Quarters

There are many cemeteries in which limited space has been well appropriated.

How terrible it is to love something that death can touch.

For 300 years during the 15th and 18th centuries there was only one burial ground in Prague, the Czech Republic, in which the Jewish faithful were permitted to bury their dead. The cemetery was small and vacant plots soon disappeared. As Jewish law prohibits the destruction of graves or the removal of gravestones, soil was layered over existing plots causing the cemetery to rise above street level. The original gravestone was erected beside the new headstone which explains how and why the gravestones are packed so closely together. Approximately 12,000 headstones sit atop twelve layers of graves beneath.

In 19th century London an expansion of the railway system required the exhumation and removal of gravestones in St. Pancras Cemetery. Thomas Hardy, an apprentice architect, was assigned the task of reburying them. Hundreds of gravestones were placed in a circular pattern around an ash tree now known as the Hardy Tree.

flickr_Paul Hudson
Source: flickr/Paul Hudson

The Levelled Churchyard”, an early poem by Thomas Hardy
O passenger, pray list and catch
Our sighs and piteous groans,
Half stifled in this jumbled patch
Of wrenched memorial stones!
We late-lamented, resting here,
Are mixed to human jam,
And each to each exclaims in fear,
‘I know not which I am!’

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/hs2/10870103/If-we-cant-rest-in-peace-handle-with-care.html


Remah Cemetery

The Remah Cemetery established in 1552 is located in Kazimierz, an historic Jewish neighbourhood in Krakow, Poland. Bodies were no longer buried there after 1800 and the cemetery was more or less abandoned.

The cemetery is named after Rabbi Moses Isserles whose tombstone is one of the few that remained intact after destruction by the Nazis.


During the German occupation of Poland, the Nazis destroyed the cemetery tearing down the walls and hauling away tombstones to be used as paving stones in the work/death camps, or selling them for profit.

The cemetery has undergone a series of post-war restorations. As is common in contemporary Poland, all tombstones unearthed as paving stones have been returned and re-erected, although they represent a small fraction of the monuments that once stood in the cemetery.


A wall within the cemetery backing onto Szeroka Street was created with some of the broken headstones. It is known as the Wailing Wall.


Not What It Seems

The Last Curtain Call For
G H Elliott
The Chocolate Coloured Coon
Who Passed Peacefully Away
19 November 1962
Dearly Loved

The description of G. H. Elliott seems offensive and racist. In fact, Elliott was not a man of colour. He was a British music hall singer and dancer in the early 20th century who came on stage with a painted black face but dressed entirely in white. He had a white top hat, a white tail-coat which came down well below the knees, white gloves, white tie or cravat, white trousers, white shoes and a white cane.

Blackface theatrical make-up was used by non-black performers to represent a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the spread of racial stereotypes until the decline in the popularity of music hall entertainment and changing attitudes regarding racism.

G. H. Elliott (November 1882 – 19 November 1962) is buried in St. Margaret’s Churchyard, Rottingdean, England. His gravestone depicts a stage with curtains drawn back.