Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Happy New Year to everyone.

We’ve been taking a Christmas and New Year break from working in St Mary’s churchyard but we are now looking forward to a busy 2017 with more gravestones, more data, and more liaison with other taphophiles!

I couldn’t completely forget all about gravestones over the festive season, I have to admit. On our annual visit to family down south over New Year, I demonstrated RTI technique to members of a local history group, and hopefully they will now be proposing a churchyard survey to their committee. Which is wonderful because their West Sussex churchyard has some lovely early 18thC examples – most are illegible to the naked eye.
Sussex Headstone - winged death's head can be seen but the inscription is totally invisible

On the three examples we shot with RTI they came up with wonderful images which astonished and excited them.

Inscription revealed
It would be fabulous if we could share our enthusiasm and experience with this group further.

I also visited another churchyard in Sussex – The gravestones in Tangmere are fascinating. Not only are there the Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstones for a number of German pilots, but there are wonderful examples of “body stones”, and brick mounds.
Brick-built body mounds at Tangmere
So, now we look forward to another year of studying gravestones in the Yorkshire Dales – there is still a little bit of field work to do at St Mary’s, Embsay, finishing off a few more photographs and plotting of un-marked graves; but work must also continue apace on the data analysis and reference forms.

Jane Lunnon

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