These gravestones have been wiped clean due to weather erosion, or from damage. A life once lived, now even the words of memorium are erased from the stone…
Meek and gentle was her spirit
Prudence did her life adorn
Modest she disclaimed all merit
Tell me am not I forlorn
Yet I must and will resign her
She’s in better hands than mine
But I hope again to join her
In the realms of love divine.
Of such is the kingdom of Heaven
Often I stood as you stand now
To view the dead as you do me
Ere long, and you shall lie as low
And others stand and look on thee.
Tho’ lost to sight
To memory clear.
Tis but a little tear is shed
For one to mem’ry dear
The tribute of my childhood days
Is but a little tear.
As you were, you will always be
Treasured forever in our memory.
Come near my friends and cast and eye
Then go your way, prepare to die,
Learn your doom, and know you must
One day like me be turned to dust. 1876
Chinese & Japanese Gardens, Chinese Garden Road, Singapore
Representing two cultures of contrasting architectures, these gardens are set on adjacent islands in Jurong Lake linked by the Bridge of Double Beauty.
The Japanese Garden embraces classical Zen rock gardens, traditional summer houses, stone lanterns and gilded arched bridges. Plain and serene, it is intended to evoke feeling. Marble-chip paths let you hear your own footsteps and meditate on the sound.
The Chinese Garden features twin pagodas, arched bridges, pavilions, rockeries and a bonsai garden. Brightly colored buildings are integrated with the surroundings.
The statue of Confucius is located in the Chinese Gardens. Parents bring their children to the statue to pray as this is thought to bring filial piety and good grades at school.
The sayings of Confucius: Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.
Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.
Study the past if you would define the future.
We should keep the dead before our eyes, and honor them as though still living.
“The Master said, At fifteen I set my heart upon learning. At thirty, I had planted my feet firm upon the ground. At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities. At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven. At sixty, I heard them with docile ear. At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.”
There is much of interest in Melrose Abbey due to the burial place of the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce (famed King of Scotland in the early 14th century recently documented in the movie, Braveheart.) Although his heart is believed to rest on the abbey’s grounds, the rest of his body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey.
The 1996 summer archeological excavation of the Chapter House floor of Melrose Abbey was undertaken to increase knowledge of this important medieval building. The team from Historic Scotland investigated the lead container said to contain King Robert the Bruce’s heart which had been removed from beneath the Chapter House floor.
Under laboratory conditions in Edinburgh they drilled a small hole into the casket and looked inside with a fibre-optic cable and saw another casket. Opening the larger one carefully they found a small conical lead container and an engraved copper plaque which said;
“The enclosed leaden casket containing a heart was found beneath Chapter House floor, March 1921, by His Majesty’s Office of Works.”
The smaller conical casket is about 10 inches high and 4 inches in diameter at the base tapering to a flat top about one and a half inches in diameter. Despite being pitted with age it was in good condition. Richard Welander, one of the investigators, said that although it was not possible to prove absolutely that it is Bruce’s heart, “We can say that it is reasonable to assume that it is”. There are no records of anyone else’s heart being buried at Melrose.
The casket containing the heart was not opened, and remained in Edinburgh until it was buried again during a private ceremony at Melrose Abbey on 22 June 1998. On the 24th June, coinciding with the anniversary of the victory of Bruce’s army over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, the Scottish Secretary of State, Donald Dewar, unveiled a plinth over the place in the abbey grounds where the heart is now buried.
The inscription reads: A Noble Hart May Have Nane Ease Gif Freedom Failye
Translated this means, A noble heart can have no rest if freedom is lacking.
A frequent feature on gravestones, the skull is a symbol of death, mortality, penitence, and sin. It appears in several formats.
SKULL & CROSSED BONES
Symbolic of crucifixion, death, and mortality.
The fear which this ancient symbol of death inspires led pirates to adopt it as an emblem upon their black flags and chemists to use it to denote poison. The combination when it appears on tombstones means, “He is dead.”
See yonder flower that scents the air How sweet it blooms How swift it fades! Just such is man in youth how fair How chang’d his form when death invades! Yet fades the flower to bloom again And we shall rise with Christ to reign.
As measured notes of set music we pass in fast or slow marches to the grave.
Gently this spot in solemn silence tread Let none disturb the relics of these dead Their souls have waft themselves to God on high But here all round this stone their bodies lie.
In my Father’s house are many mansions.
It is interesting to note that this skull is accompanied with only one bone. Curious and puzzling.
Lo! Lost remembrance drops a pious tear And holy friendship stands a mourner here.
This sculptured panel contains only the crossbones, and they are intersected with workman’s tools; a pick, a shovel, and a spade.
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord They rest from their labours and their works do follow them.
The skull represented here also displays crossed arrows and an hourglass, both of which symbolize mortality.
I am the Resurrection and the Life He that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live.
The badly eroded stone displays a dove flying above a skull and represents the resurrection of the soul.
A winged skull symbolizes the ascension into heaven, and the flight of the soul from mortal man.
Sometimes called death’s heads or winged death, it represents the fleeting nature of life and impending death. It was once a common motif on New England tombstones.
80% of the carvings on gravestones in Copps Hill Cemetery, Boston, bear the winged skull symbol.
No flat ring marble rules the traveler here The spot is sacred to affections dear He was in life what artful men pretend Companion, parent, neighbour, Christian, friend. 1802
Hail sweet repose not shall we rest No more with sickness be distressed Here from all sorrows find release Our souls shall dwell in endless peace. 1789
No longer was my life No longer was my breath God called me home in early life Because he thought it best. 1805
Though far from home in distant land My flesh returns to dust In hopes to rise when Jesus calls And dwell among the just. 1808
Life’s painful toils are over Its pilgrimage is ended And to a purer happier shore Her spirit hath ascended. 1808
It is in my bucket list to visit every one of the 21 Missions spread along the California coastline from Solano north of San Francisco to San Diego. The Missions are individually beautiful and serene, a photographer’s dream. They are each listed as California Registered Historic Landmarks.
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Founded in 1770, the mission was once the headquarters of all California missions, and is a National Historic Landmark.
This is one of the most beautiful places in the world, peaceful and serene. Colourful plants grow in every corner of the garden, and the abundant blooms of a wisteria cascade from the interior wall. Inside the courtyard, a central stone fountain is surrounded with adobe buildings and a bell tower. The adjacent cemetery, Campo Santos Cemetery, is very small and does not contain many gravestones although there are several statues of the Virgin Mary. One stone is inscribed ‘Old Gabriel aged 151 years’. Other small statues are inset into the walls.
Mission San Diego De Alcala, San Diego
Established in 1769 and known as the Mother of the Missions it is built around courtyards leading into and around the church. Whitewashed adobe walls and red slate roofs contrast perfectly with green foliage resulting in a crisp clean image. Statues of saints sprout out of the vegetation. A bell tower containing five bells is rung to announce every mass.
God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mission San Jose, Fremont
Mission San Jose was founded on June 11, 1797 by Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen. A fully developed mission, and a self-sustaining village, it was occupied by local natives, a few soldiers, several artisans with families, and one or two priests.
The cemetery is small, and as the gravestones are very old the Mission has requested that visitors do not stray from the paths. Not all the Catholics in the region were Spanish. A few graves are inscribed with French names and a number of Irish. The mission has been pummeled by earthquakes.
Mission San Francisco Solano, Sonoma
Established on July 4, 1823 it was the 21st Mission in California. An original adobe church once stood in the courtyard. The Mission served the parish of Sonoma until 1881 when the building was sold. Only five rooms of the original Mission remain. The Mission was rebuilt after it was destroyed by the 1907 earthquake.
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Luis Obispo
Founded in 1772, it is the only mission with an L shaped church. It stands in its original location in a valley known as the Valley of the Bears.
Mission San Rafael, Arcangel, San Rafael
The original Mission was burned to the ground in 1870. A Parish church was built in 1919 and in 1949 a replica of the original 1817 Mission was built.
Mission Santa Clara de Asis, Santa Clara
The 1771 Mission is located in the centre of the Santa Clara College campus. It houses the original bells from Spain and is a beautifully maintained, working church. The grounds merge into the university campus and are meticulously manicured.
Mission San Luis, Rey de Francia, Oceanside
Located on a hill overlooking Oceanside it was founded in 1798. It is the largest of the Missions and was the most prosperous.
Mission San Antonio de Padua, Jolon
This Mission is located in Jolon in Monterey County and was founded in 1771. It is famous for its campanario and archway bells.
As a white candle in a holy place
So is the beauty of an aged face. Joseph Campbell
San Diego de Presidia
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. Tertullian
Monterey Presidio, Monterey
As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many. William Bradford
Santa Ysabel, San Diego
Into the earth I go down, go down,
Noting but earth will I be seeing, will I be seeing,
I sink down into the old river-bed, down into the interior. Yuman saying
Evergreen Cemetery, Milton, Ontario, Canada.
Poor Betty was killed on her way home from school by a car.
A little flower of love
That blossomed but to die
Transplanted now above
To bloom with God on high.
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, California, USA
Created in 1892 this non denominational cemetery stretches for acres. A stone monument is dedicated to the lives lost in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
Anchor Green at the Harbour, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
A red granite Celtic Cross with the inscription: Erected in memory of Catherine Watson of Glasgow, aged 19, who drowned in the East Bay, 27th July 1889 while rescuing a drowning boy. The child was saved, the brave girl taken.’
Gone is the face we loved so dear
Silent the voice we loved to hear
Memory is a golden chain
That binds us till we meet again.
Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France
The Dikerman family were exterminated in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942 .
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes for the former things are passed away.
Garden City Skyway Bridge Memorial
This monument is in Merrit Park beside the Welland Canal under the Burgoyne Bridge in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. It is dedicated to the memory of Conrad Stenzel, Douglas Shand, David McKinley and Gordon Thomas who were killed during a workplace accident whilst working on the Skyway bridge. The four painters fell to their death on June 8, 1993 when the scaffolding upon which they were working collapsed.
The busy world is hushed
The fever of life over and our work done.
There is a small pet cemetery within the walls of the castle, one of only two in Scotland for the faithful companions of the castle’s commanding officers. The small garden out of reach of visitors can only be seen from above, and has been used since Queen Victoria’s reign as a burial place for Regimental mascots and officer’s dogs.
There are approximately two dozen stones visible. Many of the stones are so weathered that the inscriptions are no longer legible.
DON pet dog of Sergeant’s 1st battery
MAJOR a police dog
FLORA band pet
1881 JESS Band pet of the Black Watch 42nd Royal Highlanders
1889 YUM YUM
1892 TIM is buried in Guernsey. He travelled with Seaforth Highlanders
1893 DOBBLER travelled with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to such exotic locations as China, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
1911 GYP a Crown ROOM dog.
1935 TINKER General William.
1947 SCAMP A faithful chum of Jack Wilson Paterson.
1980 WINKLE Dear and faithful friend of Lady Gow and the Governor.
Edinburgh Dog Cemetery
Dumb creatures we have cherished here below
Shall give us joyous greeting
When we pass the Golden Gate
Is it folly that I hope it may be so.
A verse written by Robert Burns:
Berkin dugs here lie at rest
The yappin worst, obedient best
Sodgers pets and mascots tae
Still the guard the castle to this day.