Monday, 25 February 2013

Thruscross Cemetery

Thruscross Cemetery entrance
On Friday I decided to finish work at lunch time and I had a drive around the Washburn Valley before heading home. Despite the bitter cold and what we call a lazy wind, (It goes though you, not around you!) I made my mind up to stop and photo Thruscross Cemetery. It is in the middle of nowhere with no Church or buildings of any type.

I knew the story of the village of West End which was flooded In the 1960`s when the fourth reservoir was made in the Washburn Valley to supply Leeds with its drinking water. In that old Dales village, was Holy Trinity Church with many graves. Gravestones were removed and bodies exhumed. A new church was built to the South-West of the reservoir where they were reburied.
In times of drought the remains of the old village could be still seen, but this must be quite an old pic from Google
What I didn`t know was that in the 1980` due to lack of use the Church became obsolete and converted to West End Outdoor Centre, and the poor souls were again exhumed and reburied at this bleak site on Greenhow Hill.

Holy Trinity Church pic from Google, dated 1966
The first thing about this Cemetery, apart from as I said that there are no buildings is how straight and formal the rows of graves are, in small old Yorkshire Church yards things happen a bit more haphazard.

Thruscross Cemetery, the old graves
  Which brings to the second point, the old graves, the ones been moved are on the north wall lying roughly head north-west of the feet, but the new graves are lined at 90° to these so their heads are more south-east of their feet.

Thruscross Cemetery, the old graves
 I know it`s winter, but the bleakness here is quite overpowering and if you were in to the spiritual side of things I feel this cemetery has so much more than any I have visited in towns, cities or villages for a long time. Basically what I think I`m saying is that if I were to be buried after my death, I think I would like it to be here.
Thruscross Cemetery, the new graves
I used the following websites to add to my knowledge of this. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2717480
I will return to this with more pics when it is warmer here.

 

5 comments:

  1. The old headstones are always so much nicer than the new headstones, I think. In the cemetery where our son is buried, they don't even allow headstones above ground anymore. They have to be flat so the maintenance people can ride over them with the lawnmower. How sad.

    Thruscross looks like a lovely place to be buried in! Many MANY years from now!! :o)

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    Replies
    1. That is very sad. I am sorry. In some parts of Lawnswood Cemetery which is run by the local authority there are rules about monument and headstone heights but it varies, where my Parents are they are normal, but my Grandparents grave is only allowed a flat stone with a vase in the centre.

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  2. At least they exhumed the bodies, removed the grave stones and then relocated them. In the woods by me there is a pile of grave stones and monuments that were simply moved from somewhere nearby by machine, dumped in one convenient spot and abandoned without any effort having been made to relocate the remains of the departed. I believe it's illegal to do that now but no one seems to know when the dastardly deed was done or where those forgotten people might be buried.

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes in old Churches they remove old headstones and reuse them as paths. A lot of these were made of York Sandstone which is prone to moss and algae quickly forming and becoming very slippery. I believe they have check for relatives for 3 generations that may be still living.

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  3. I think if the dead could appreciate the scenic view they'd prefer their current resting place to the bottom of the man made lake. Those miles of landscape are breath taking.

    I live very near to the self-ascribed "Granite Capital of the World" (Elberton, GA, USA) where I used to drive by a business that made headstones, but even here we do not see grave monuments any longer. Only in the old cemeteries.

    There is something to be said for putting up a nice memorial to a lost relative. But, I suppose there is also something appropriate in those memorials crumbling into the earth like everything else.

    Maybe, to continue from your last post, the professional mourners could also provide temporary, lavish monuments.

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