Saturday, 22 February 2014

Grave Matters

I am rather enjoying my weekly visits to Drogheda as it gives me the chance to explore our neighbouring town.
Lunchtime presents a limited opportunity for discovering something new, so I've got into the habit of grabbing a quick sandwich and then going for a walk on the axil of streets near to where I park.
This week I wandered into the churchyard of St Peter's Church of Ireland as I had seen some interesting photos on Instagram.
Maybe it's a photographer thing, but I do enjoy walking around old graveyard, looking at the tombstones and wondering about the lives of those long gone.
John Duggan, commemorated in the tombstone above was a soldier who fought in the Charge of the Light Brigade before settling down to the more peaceful existence as a sexton of St Peter's Church.

Above left is the skeletal couple  believed to date back to the first quarter of the 16th century. It's what's known as a 'cadaver stone' and was taken from the tomb of Sir Edmond Goldyng and his wife Elizabeth Fleming. It has been built in the churchyard wall and shows two cadavers enclosed in shrouds which have been partially opened to show to remains of the occupants of the tomb.
Much prettier was the dove resting on another tomb stone while the snowdrops were a reminder of hope in a somewhat spooky place.


  1. Fascinating. I've never seen a 'cadaver stone' though I've encountered plenty of skulls on memorials, which always seem in dubious taste to modern eyes. Maybe it is a 'photographer thing' for I was wandering through the churchyard in my former home village; suddenly it has memorials to lots of people I used to know.

  2. The cadaver stone is really interesting. I watched a program last night about death masks they used to make of the deceaseds face. I also love old graveyards and took my fare share of photos in them while I was visiting Ireland. Muckross Abbey had one of my favorites.

  3. Graveyards are a lovely place to visit. The older, the more overgrown, the more mysterious, the better.
    It can be lovely looking at the old inscriptions and the old surnames of which many are no longer heard of in our modern world.
    Tony Lawlor.

  4. I love walking through old graveyards! Love your pictures of the one you visited!!

    Linda in VA

  5. The cadaver stone is really interesting. I'm always fascinated by how commonplace it used to be to put images of skulls and crossbones on graves (there's a photo on my blog of one on the grave of someone believed to be related to one of the Pendle witches). Interesting to see snowdrops too. When I was researching for my 'February's fair maids' post, I read that they're common in graveyards and around monasteries because they were brought back and planted by monks from Europe. x


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