Friday, 26 May 2017

26 May 2016

We have all been busy with our work on the churchyard survey – including  more data input sessions in a bid to complete the Grave Reference Sheets. I think the end is in sight for these, although there are still a lot to type up yet.
In the meantime some of us have been visiting more graveyards.

The Stearns gravitated towards a number of them while on holiday in Norfolk recently – their daughter had a job keeping up with Sue’s demands for photographs and now has a camera full of gravestone images. Not what she expected to bring back from holiday!

I took advantage of a recent open day at the Raikes Road Burial Ground in Skipton. This intriguing urban burial ground is being lovingly restored and investigated by an enthusiastic local group. A book has now been published on Raikes Road, written by Jean Robinson of the Friends of Raikes Road Burial Ground. It’s well presented and gives a very interesting collection of stories about the people buried here.

For more information see their website:

I made the most out of the opportunity to take lots of photos in a bid to see how much similarity there is between the gravestones here and those at St Mary’s Embsay. And it was immediately obvious that there were many similarities - and many differences. Look, for instance at this carving of an angel that is at Raikes Road...

 And this one, which is in St Mary’s, Embsay.

Remarkably similar, but with subtle differences indicating this is the work of a craftsman, rather than that of a commercial workshop mass producing memorial templates.

This memorial at Raikes Road is badly eroded, and the original imagery is missing. 

But happily, we can find a similar design at St Mary's Embsay, and assume that the original at Raikes Road looked something like this:

This highlights just a couple of the benefits of extending our investigation of gravestones beyond our own parochial boundary, something that we would very much like to do.

Jane Lunnon 

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