A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits


Monday 29 November 2010

Monday Mourning ~ The Symbolism of Grapes

The Symbolism of Grapes

Haverhill, Suffolk 

Treasured Memories of
Charles William Parmenter
who died Oct. 19th 1941
aged 20 years
also Brenda Mary his beloved wife
who died Sept. 29th 1941
aged 20 years
God's Will Be Done

Grapes are a representation of the Eucharistic wine and are therefore a symbol of Christ's blood.
The Catholic Church teaches that the bread and wine, through transubtantiation, become the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ - the whole of Christ - when consecrated.
The Precious Blood Prayer:
May the most Precious Blood which flowed from the most Holy wounds of our loving Lord Jesus pour over us, to wash, cleanse, purify, heal, guide and protect us from all evil, harm, sickness and bless and make us as Holy as we can be. We ask this in the Holy name of Jesus and through His most Precious Blood and His most Holy wounds. Amen 

Cambridge City Cemetery

of your Charity
pray for the repose of the souls of
Michael Nugent Arnold
who departed this life Sept. 8th 1927
aged 64 years
on whose soul sweet Jesus have mercy
and also of
Florence Jane Arnold
Dearly loved wife of the above
who died on Oct 29 1954
aged 82 years
out of the depths I have cried to thee O Lord

Sunday 28 November 2010

A Sudden Cold Snap

All that is left of this Seasons first light dusting of Snow 


Friday 26 November 2010

Friday's Funerary Art ~ Mosaic

Zorgvlied, Netherlands

The name found on this monument is Ruud V Dyk  

Thursday 25 November 2010

Weird & Wonderful

Peter Leonardus Maria Giele 13 July 1954 - 16 June 1999

Artist, Poet, Designer, Event Organiser and major inspiration to a large group of artists in Amsterdam. Giele founded several cultural institutions such as the Aortic Gallery, Nightclub Roxy, Gallery W139, and the Restaurant-Club 'Inez'.
At the age of 54, Peter died of a cerebral hemorrhage whilst riding his scooter from Amsterdam to the Gooi.

The Peter Giele Skull is a polyester capsule placed on the grave to replace the artist’s black cape that had previously been there. 
The Skull capsule project, was to allow visitors to the grave, an opportunity to lay inside it and commerate the artist's and their own mortality.

However this idea was met with opposition from the Zorgvlied cemetery management. They said that the capsule could frighten and lead to confused reactions from other cemetery visitors if suddenly someone stepped out of it. Only a few close friends and family members now have the keys to open the skull, so that they may step into the capsule and lie down.
Zorgvlied finally agreed to place the work.

The open casket Funeral Boat of Peter Giele 

Giele's Funeral Procession

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Wednesday's Child

Family Grave of
H. Korthof
Here Rests
our little
B: 9 Oct 1906
D: 11 July 1921

Geertruida Catharina Korthof-Buysman
B: 30 July 1875
D: 6 Feb 1938

Huibert Korthof
B: 25 March 1874
D: 26 Aug 1939

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Circus Director's Masoleum

The masoleum of Circus Director Oscar Carré 1846-1911, was designed in the neo-classical style by Ross and Vuyk in 1891. It was built for his first wife Amalia Salamonski who died in May 1891. Oscar himself died in 1911 on a tour through Denmark in Copenhagen. But because the masouleum was not prepared for him, his body was buried for a year in the Great Church of Copenhagen before arriving in it's final resting place inside the masoleum.
The floors and walls of the interior have decorative motifs and a marble bust of Amalia Salamonski, by Henri J. Teixeira de Mattos. 

The Butterflies that adorn the tops of the Columns, represent Resurrection.

Oscar Carre and Edith Maud Adams-Carre

Oscar Carré founded of the famous Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam and even though the theatre has progressed from a Circus Arena to a world renowned theatre, a main attraction is still the annual Christmas Circus.

Monday 22 November 2010

Monday Mourning ~ The Symbolism of Poppies

Because of it's connection with the narcotic properties of opium, the Poppy is asscoiated with Sleep and Death, as seen here in the garland around this ladies head. The red colour of the Poppy has also been connected to Christ's Passion and used to symbolise blood and death.
The Broken Column that she leans upon for support is symbolic of the end of life, especially when that has been cut short. In the mid 1800's, it became the most popular of mortality symbolise, due to its visual impact.
The Wreath she holds is circular in shape and is seen as a common symbol of eternity. It appears to be made of berries, rather than the more usual Laurel leaves that symbolise Immortailty and Victory over death.    

Zorgvlied, Netherlands

More Poppies, but this time from Venice, Italy

San Michele

St. Leonards, Bedfordshire

Friday 19 November 2010

Friday's Funerary Art ~ Sculpture

Holland has a wealth of famous Artists, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Vemeer, Van Dyke and Frand Hals to name but a few.
So it should have come as no surprise to find many works of art in the Zorgvlied cemetery, being used as monuments. These unique and unusual markers can really make a personal statement about the individual they belong to and also the loved ones who have chosen them to symbolise those they have lost in a way that is truly meaningful to them. 

This monument was all that was visible on this plot, no name or date to go with it as far as I could make out.

Too many wet leaves too remove on this grave for further details

Onze Lieve
Dick Blok

Onze Lieve
Gieny Smits
Jan Sijsling

Liefde Blijft
Leo Biss??op

Jan Morren
D?nkend Aan Jullie

Thursday 18 November 2010

Ink Caps and Poetry

Upon the grave of Reg and May Chatters I found this large group of Ink Cap mushrooms and below is a poem about them by Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

Their mass rotted off them flake by flake
Til the thick stalk stuck like a murderer's stake,
Where rags of loose flesh yet tremble on high
Infecting the winds that wander by.

Ink caps mushrooms are so called because as they mature, the cap begins to liquify into a dripping black ink like substance.
I read that they are especially poisonous when consumed along with alcohol.
I wonder who made that discovery ?

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Wednesday's Child

In Loving Memory
Archibald Henry Clark Iles
called away July 17th 1911
aged 9 months and 6 days

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Remembrance Day

I apologise for being late with this post, unfortunately I was unable to post this last Thursday on the 11th November as we were away.
I was born in Bushey and remember seeing this melancholy looking woman many times as a small child and even then I realised there was something very poignant about her. 

This War Memorial in Bushey, Hertfordshire is in Remembrance of all those local men of Bushey who gave up their lives during both World Wars, even though the dates of only the First War are shown here, all their names can be seen on the reverse side of the monument.

Cemeteries of the World - Zorgvlied - Netherlands

Last week we spent a relaxing time on a houseboat in Amsterdam and of course it was an ideal opportunity to explore another Cemetery of the World.

The mature trees disguise the cemetery when veiwed from above

Zorgvlied Main Entrance

Of the two largest cemeteries there, we chose to visit Zorgvlied, which is one of the most famous cemeteries in the Netherlands. This Amsterdam cemetery, which lies on the west bank of the Amstel river was founded in 1870.
In the 13th century the land to the south of the city, along the Amstel river was known as the 'Garden of Amsterdam'.
At a public auction, a meadow on the Amstel dyke was bought. A country house had formerly stood on the site. This was later to become Zorgvlied, the name refers to the place where the 'Worries Flee'. The original site was three acres and was Fl. 5450, (about € 2480) . Expectations of the purchase were high because of the excellent location on the Amstel and the ability to transport the deceased by boat.

Petrus Van der Velden - Marken Funeral Barge

On November 2, 1870, Mr. Fox  became the first tomb owner and the first burial was that of Mr G. Ring on December 6, 1871.
Because of the sceneic location on the Amstel River and dignified peace it radiates, the cemetery was very popular with the Amsterdam bourgeoisie and Zorgvlied became a household name.

The garden architect Jan David Zocher Jr (and in the period 1891 to 1892 his son LP Zocher) designed the cemetery in the style of an English landscape garden, where nature as much as possible was simulated: scattered groups of trees, intimate corners and unexpected vistas.
Zorgvlied's continued success meant that over time, several extensions were necessary and each expansion was according to the tastes and demands of the particular era in which it was constructed. CP Broerse designed most of the postwar expansion and BJ Galjaard the Muslim section of Rosa Alba.
The current director AHF Nesvadba is focusing on renovating the entire site, seeking the expansion of cremation graves.
Zorgvlied therefore has a unique combination of Zochers romantic style and the modern constructions of the 1960's.
Zorgvlied now encompasses 16.5 acres with 60 kilometers of pathways and 17.00 graves. There are more than 2400 trees of which there are 200 different species. 
Visiting such a large and interesting 'Sleeping Garden' can be quite tiring, but there are fold up chairs available to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

The graves themselves are in an immense variety of styles, with grand 19th century tombs of wealthy families and the uniformity of post war graves. Headstones of more recent times show a much more personal character that reflects the individuals of Amsterdam.
In the 1980's attitudes towards conventional funeral procedures changed and the bereaved wanted to be personally involved in the funeral of their loved ones. Pall bearing and the playing of music themselves.

The funeral of Nightclub owner, Manfred Langer was one such funeral.

In the summer of 1994, Manfred was unexpectedly told that he had throat cancer and did not have long to live. Only a few months later, on the 21st of November, he died at just forty-two years old; the spotlights were turned off and the curtain fell for this legendary man. Yet, even at his funeral, Manfred had a gigantic spectacle staged. Twenty limousines followed the pink one that carried him to his last place of rest. Ten thousand friends, acquaintances and the curious attended the ceremony. Even national and international TV stations followed the spectacular affair. At the graveside, everyone got a small bottle of vodka (Manfred’s favorite drink), which everyone drank and then threw into the grave.
A life size statue of Manfred stands beside his grave

Whilst Zorgvlied has many famous Dutch buried here, it is not exclusive and like the city of Amsterdam, it is open to people of all denominations and cultural backgrounds.
Chinese, Muslims, Bahai, Buddhists all have their own place here, including many liberal Jews. However Orthodox Jews may not wish to be buried here due to their belief against the site of a grave being cleared after the lease expires.
The graves of war victims and resistance heroes are scattered throughout the cemetery and there is also a 'field of stars' for premature babies.

Of the many famous Dutch buried in Zorgvlied, some of their admirers have taken the initiative to plan walks around the graves of certain celebrities.
The information centre at the main gates is very helpful and friendly and speak English and so if you want to formulate a walk in memory of a person for others who also have a special interest, you are welcome to do so.

Monday 15 November 2010

Monday Mourning ~ God's Garden

I love the tenderness that is portrayed here as she places a flower on this grave.

St. Andrews, Cherry Hinton, Cambs

Treasured Meories fo a Dear Wife and Devoted Mother
Elizabeth Ann Hardesty
who was taken into God's keeping
March 31st 1957
Also of our dearest Father
William Thomas Featherstone Hardesty
Died 16th August 1969 aged 89 years

A lily transplanted to God's garden fair
A blossom so fragrant so rare

William Hardesty
Died 24th July 1991 aged 81

In loving memory
Olive Ruth Hardesty
Wife of William
Mother and Grandmother
1911 - 2004?

Thursday 4 November 2010

Pentagrams in the Churchyard

The day after Halloween, we visited St.Andrews churcyard in Cherry Hinton, Cambridge where I found this Pentagram carved on an old tomb stone. The lettering was very worn and difficult to decipher.   

St.Andrews, Cherry Hinton, Cambs

In Memory of
James Smith
who departed this life
? ? 1831
aged 11 years

A pentagram is the shape of a five pointed star, comprising of five straight lines that cross over one another, with a single point at the top in an ascended position. Pentagrams were used symbolically in Ancient Greece and Babylonia and are used today as a symbol of faith by many Neo Pagans, akin to the use of the Cross by Christians and the Star of David by Jews.
Christians have also used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus and the Freemasons have associations with it too, as do a number of other belief systems.
The Chinese five-element philosophy of Feng Shui, the natural balance between fire, water, earth, wood, and metal, states that the direction it is pointing has nothing to do with good or evil, but rather the upside-down facing circle is for banishing.                     

The circle drawn around a pentagram transforms it into a pentacle, and in most traditions this represents a symbol of Protection and of Sacred space. The top point represents true spirit; or the Goddess, the other four points symbolize the elements of creation; Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The star as a whole, symbolizes the spirit bringing the elements into natural harmony, the opposite of chaos; a concept taught by Empedocles, ca. 475 BC.       
In this upright position, the pentacle can represent spirituality's dominance over the material ‘pentagram’ bound inside the laws of the cosmos ‘outer circle’. The upside-down facing pentagram therefore, has connotations of the physical world ruling over the spiritual, and has therefore been associated with dark magic.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Wednesday's Child

The inscription below Donald's age says:
Dearly loved - Sadly missed


Tuesday 2 November 2010

Autumn in the Cemetery

I love this large beech tree in the Cemetery in Saffron Walden and often take photos of it as the sunlight plays through its leaves, in autumn it is particularly beautiful. I don't live far away from the cemetery and on some nights can hear the owls hooting that hunt amongst the stones there. 

Monday 1 November 2010

Monday Mourning

Holy Trinity, Long Melford, Suffolk

The only thing I can make out on this stone is that it is 'In Memory of ' the first person named died in Nov 1821 aged 25 years and that the person named second, died in the same month a year later in 1822.
I wonder what colour the metal decoration of the two ladies would have originally been ? 

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