I’ve always been in search of an old graveyard where I can feel the emotions I felt as a child growing up in Heysham when I visited the graveyard of St Peter’s Church.
All Saint’s Church in the village of Daresbury, Cheshire, has a beautiful graveyard that’s full of history if you look for it. It also has two amazing trees that I refer to as ‘the tree of arms’ simply because they stand proud with their many arms branching out over the old graves. I like to think that they are protecting the dead from the many elements bearing down upon their final resting place throughout the centuries. Below is a distorted image of the ‘tree of arms’ that was inspired by the book of Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland.
Lewis Carroll has connections with this church. His father, Charles Dodgson was a curate and Lewis lived in the village of Daresbury for the first 11 years of his life, hence the dedication of the Lewis Carroll centre within the church and the memorial window featuring characters from Alice in Wonderland.
The Dead Do Speak
There are two wonderful headstones in the Daresbury Graveyard that feature a verse to the dearly beloved departed. When I read such verses, I’m really touched that they have survived centuries for people like me to stop and think about the person buried there.
The first fascinating headstone is for John Clare and I wish I could find out more about him as every time I visit Daresbury, I’m drawn to pay him a visit. On his headstone it states that he ‘unfortunately drowned’ at the age of 33 in the Manchester, 1802. His family made sure that a message would be delivered to all people who visited his grave to see.
All you that come to my grave to fee
Prepare yourfelves to follow me
Repent in time make no delay
I in my prime was called away
How beautiful and poignant is that?
We then take a visit to the grave of Elizabeth Rider who died in 1778. I really treasure such heart warming headstones in graveyards as they are full of history and meaning. I imagine Elizabeth who reached a good age of 63 was ill for some time prior to her death.
In weak estate
With patience great
Long time she did remain
But Death did seize
When God did please
There are more images in my gallery of this atmospheric graveyard and I hope you pay it a visit and leave a donation for the Lewis Carroll centre that is very good.
Just a quick note, although I do sell images of graveyards, I do not sell images of headstones that are clearly readable like these two featured here, so please do not ask!