If you’re a graveyard tourist or a taphophile and you’re thinking of exploring Northumberland, this post talks about day 3 of my adventure looking for Memento Mori headstones . Click here to read day 1 of exploring graveyards in Northumberland. Unfortunately due to weather conditions, day 2 rained so hard it just wasn’t worth taking the camera out of the bag, but fear not, day 3 was an excellent day.
St Oswald, St Cuthbert and King Alfwald Church in Halton, Northumberland
We begin today’s journey of exploring graveyards in Northumberland with a visit to a church in Halton that is named after two saints and an ancient king of Northumbria, St Oswald, St Cuthbert and King Alfwald. There is not an abundance of memento mori headstones here, but it is very scenic and peaceful and well worth visiting. Visit the Halton Gallery to see other images from this beautiful graveyard. The image below shows the chest tomb that caught my attention due to the number of different mortality symbols shown.
Mortality Symbols and their Meanings
Memento Mori is latin which translates to ‘Remember you must die‘. Drapery seen on headstones in this case, the bag that contains the bones, usually depicts the veil between life and death and the crossing of that plane and to others it can symbolise God’s protection until Resurrection. For further information on graveyard symbols and their meanings, please visit my other website, Headstone Symbols.
St Andrew’s Church in Corbridge
There is an absolute gorgeous church and graveyard to be found in Corbridge, Northumberland.
St Andrew’s Church has its origins in the Anglo-Saxon period and was founded by St Wilfred. Corbridge itself is a really nice village to relax in with numerous coffee shops. The graveyard has an exciting number of good headstones to photograph. The one I have chosen for display here is a headstone with a death head that is dedicated to brothers. I just love the stone engraved lettering and the wonderful swirls, which you don’t see on modern headstones. Visit the Corbridge gallery to view more photographs from this location.
St John Lee Church in Acomb
Such a beautiful church and graveyard that must be visited. I had an extremely hard time picking just one photograph from this location as I was spoilt for choice. Other photographs can be seen in the Acomb gallery. The image below was chosen as it sums up the beauty and the headstones in this particular graveyard.
The church of St John Lee, was rebuilt in 1818 and prior to this there was a medieval church. The graveyard has a lot of medieval headstones that are truly fascinating. The church is dedicated to a local hermit who was reported to be a worker of miracles and it is believed that one miracle occurred in 1765 at the church, when a 90 yr old Northumbrian piper threw away his crutches after using them for 26 years, to walk to church for his wedding to a 25 yr old. Reference Wikipedia.
St Mungo’s Church, Simonburn
As you leave the graveyard of St Mungo’s Church in Simonburn, the headstone below is sure to catch your eye. It’s a message from beyond the grave and I thought it would be nice to feature it here. The graveyard itself is another one well worth visiting. There are not many headstones featuring the classic skull and crossbones, but nonetheless, you will find a lot of mortality symbols and cherubs with wings. Simonburn Gallery.
St Cuthbert’s Church in Bellingham
It’s certainly worth visiting St Cuthbert’s Church in Bellingham as there are some wonderful headstones in the graveyard and the interior of the church is very nice. Dating back to 1180, this church certainly has been through the wars and was laid to waste during the border wars with Scotland. In the 1660’s during a restoration, three cannon balls were found in the roof. Trying to pick my favourite graveyard photograph was a difficult choice and in the end I chose a nice scenic shot to show you why you should visit. Other photographs can be viewed in the Bellingham Gallery.
Graveyard Photography for Taphophile’s and Graveyard Tourists
If you’re looking for that special gift for a taphophile or graveyard tourist, please consider purchasing a special framed print, which is also signed from my Etsy Store.
By purchasing a framed print, you will be supporting the upkeep of my graveyard photography, which is something I really enjoy doing. I also provide custom requests, so please get in touch if you’re after something totally unique. Please take a look and feel free to share as this also supports my work.