I could write forever about the small park/churchyard where I go early each morning with Billy. It has become my 'away from home, home'.
Along the North perimeter are these '14 burial vaults', one has a wooden door and is used as a room for keeping gardening equipment, but the rest are sealed and (I presume) still contain the remains of the wealthy departed who could afford such luxury.
Like most of Brighton, they are built of rubble (called Bungaroosh), and later cement rendered. With the passage of time they have seriously deteriorated, and the cheap construction methods are now laid bare for all to see.
They are built of bits of old brick, roughly rendered with a very grainy mix of fine pebbles from the beach mixed with some cement. The finish is a finer mix with plenty of decorative extras. Even in the state they're in, I think they look beautiful; maybe even more so than when they were first built in the 1840's.
This picture above shows the pebble mortar mix used beneath the finished façade (middle right in the second photo).
On the Southern perimeter are all the simpler gravestones (above), removed from their original positions and replanted in a long line along the boundary. This now makes the 'rest park' more accessible to dog walkers, picnickers, or sun worshippers, who appreciate the large open space of the lawns.
Lovely sunshine yesterday, but look how muddy everything's become over the past month or so. YUK!
Oh to be buried in a vault! Or anywhere safe from maggots (worms are ok), RATS and grave robbers. I can see it now: "How has it come to this" I will ask myself. If only I could. As is, it's immaterial. I shall have my own dismantling hastened by being buried in a shroud not a coffin. That way my skeleton will be gnawed clean in zero time.ReplyDelete
Your cemetery walks with Billy are inspired. I too love all that peace and quiet.
I love this park, as does Billy. Everyone knows Billy, and they're all so friendly. All the gravestones, vaults, trees, and plants, are just a bonus. There's even an old Olive Tree.Delete
Is it St Nicholas of Myra Church?ReplyDelete
Yes. At the bottom of our road.Delete
I read that Bungaroosh is limited to the Brighton and Hove area. Presumably because of the abundance of flint and pebbles there at the time the building went on?ReplyDelete
A fascinating place to have on your doorstep.
Brighton suddenly became fashionable after the building of The Pavilion, and the speculators soon moved-in to take advantage. They built terraces after terraces, all beautiful rendered on the surface, but made of Bungaroosh on the inside. Any old rubbish was used for the walls.Delete
I like churchyards. Peaceful and always interesting. I'm enjoying your new environsReplyDelete
I sometimes go there three times a day (if everyone else refuses to walk Billy). I love it there, although it is getting very muddy.Delete
What a wonderful and interesting place to spend the morning with Billy.ReplyDelete
It's very relaxing there, and right in the heart of the city. It's like being in a small village.Delete
Churchyards, although sad places, are beautiful places to walk through. So much to look at, read and think about. Those burial vaults are beautiful ….. a lovely lace to walk Billy. XXXXReplyDelete
It's Billy's favourite place to run. He loves going there. When I let him off his lead he's like a spring racing chicken.Delete
It's bitter sweet that the gravestones have been moved to the side. They were put there to mark who lies beneath. It seems wrong to move them. At the same time, it's good that the dead don't take up land that can be used by the living.ReplyDelete
I imagine that the bones are still there, and the gravestones are so old that hardly one of them is still legible. It is a bit sad, but it does now make a very good open space.Delete
The graveyard seems a most interesting place Cro. I had a fear of burial ever seeing an hold 'Hammer house of horror' film that started off with a coffin being opened and the remains within were contorted in anguish with deep scratch marks on the coffin lid! Since then cremation was my choice of departure, rather be quickly cooked than buried alive. Of course it would rob me of the tombstone with the simple inscription "Told you I was ill).ReplyDelete
I've always said that if I died in France I would like to be buried, but if I died in England, it's the crematorium. Only time will tell.Delete
Don't worry, John. With today's medical advances being what they are you'll be guaranteed to be dead [before burial] after many an attempt to revive you. Trust me.Delete
Cro, I am intrigued. Am I to understand that you wish to give something back to the French soil you toiled? And that, should you die in England, you'd like to honour the tradition of pacemakers and other metal bit keeping you together flying out of the chimney? Talk about going out on a sigh (France) and a bang (England).Delete
It always seemed more logical. Burial is more of a tradition out in the French countryside, whereas here land is scarce and a small pot of ash takes-up no room.Delete
Thank you Ursula...I think 🤔Delete
That's sad that they've deteriorated to the point of being unreadable. I'm so darned curious. I'd be scribbling down names to look up later.ReplyDelete
Most have just a few letters left that one can still read, otherwise they have all been worn away. Shame.Delete
Glasgow Necropolis is wonderful for such things.ReplyDelete
Far better quality to boot. Not sure that it dominating the Infirmary was a good move but we all make mistakes.Delete
I've not been to Glasgow, but I'm sure I've seen a documentary about it. Much more spectacular than our little graveyard.Delete
Interesting cemetery. The close up photo appears to have spirits looking back at you.ReplyDelete
I thought for years into adulthood, vaults are only used for winter storage until spring thaw melts the ground for digging.
That sounds like the Russian Steppes, where the ground was far too frozen to dig for 11 months of the year. The bodies were wrapped in cloth and left outside until a slight thaw.Delete
You are very fortunate to have this space nearby for good walks with Billy. The open spaces seem very park-like and the vaults add lots of historic interest. Billy must enjoy meeting up with his Brighton dogie friends.ReplyDelete
It's like a very exclusive Dog Club. They all meet-up several times a day, and run around together. Very few squabbles, and lots of real friendships. It's a revelation.Delete
When we first moved to my town, (20 years ago), it was surrounded by farmer's fields. On quiet mornings, I could hear cows mooing in a neighboring field. Now those fields are gone. They've been taken up by more houses. It's made my walks a little ho hum. Twice a year, however, I go for a short drive to one of the town's old country cemeteries. I enjoy walking around and reading what's inscripted on the headstones.ReplyDelete
They're surprisingly calm and inviting places. Maybe that's why everyone we meet there is so friendly.Delete
Actually it looks a very restful space Cro and perfect for humans and dogs.ReplyDelete
Both my wife and I were quite surprised by how friendly both the people, and the dogs, are who go there.Delete
It is a lovely little cemetery, the vaults are beautiful. I live in a suburb close to the city and any churches here don't have graveyards, they barely have open space.ReplyDelete