Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Exploring

Exploring new places gets me all excited with the anticipation of what I might see there. Even better when that new place offers more than I had hoped for.


With a bunch of full on energy teenage boys to keep occupied for three days a week I've decided half day outings to drain their energy is the way to go. Admittedly any kind of outing that involves a walk, not a taxi ride ends up being called a real mission. I just laugh and say get walking.

Yesterday I took them to the Rosary Cemetary. I'd never been, but my Mr had and he fell hook line and sinker for its Gothic splendour.


My students didn't see the charms of the place quite so easily and told me I was weird for bringing them here. After a run round they went for a smoke and I had a good explore with my camera. 

Overlooking the city and perched on the side of a hill, it was created as a non-denominational cemetary in the C19th.


I enjoyed walking along the hidden pathways covered in leaves peeking into part of a persons life story. This small angel sits as a memorial to a young wife who died in July 1918 at the age of 27. Her husband probably fought in and survived the war only to come home and have his wife die from the influenza epidemic.


This is the grave of John Barker a travelling showman who owned a steam fairground. He was crushed to death between two machines while setting up on the cattlemarket which used to be below the castle.


As I wandered along taking in the surroundings I didn't feel edgy as I normally do in graveyards, there was just something peaceful and above all really interesting about this place.


In the middle of the cemetary is Eye surgeon Emanuel Cooper's masoleum.  Apparently he came here to smoke his pipe while they were building it for him. His daughter Ada Nemesis Cooper married John Galsworthy who wrote The Forsyte Saga which was based on their lives.



I found this small headstone particularly poignant. It commemorates a young man who died at the age of 20 in 1916. My colleague who was with me has a son only a year older with plenty of dreams for his future.


After a throughly lovely time soaking myself in some new to me history, we went off in search of those cheeky teens and cheered them up no end by telling them we were walking back again. 

We walked along through the back of the train station. We found a fabulous apple tree full of the reddest apples. Scrumping was much more their thing than graves. See we were all happy and had a lovely wander out and about.

23 comments:

  1. Oh I love this post...always had a thing for graveyards, if I'm honest! not in a weird way, well maybe it is weird, I'm not sure, it is just the history and the stories you find there I find fascinating. we went to the huge one in Paris, which I can never spell pierre de something! me and the mr spent hours there. I think they are kind of eerily beautiful places, not scary...you did make me laugh, about them going off for a smoke! :-) x
    P.s thanks for you lovely comment on my post xx

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    1. I think if you love history you just can't fail to be fascinated by a good old graveyard don't you Sophie.

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  2. What interesting tales the graves tell, the first photo of the trees looks wonderful all the lovely autumnal colours. It's sad that the visit wasn't much appreciated still it's a good idea to get them out and about.
    Sarah x

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    1. I keep on trying and sometimes they actually enjoy what I show them Sarah. It was trulky beautiful in there at this time of year.

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  3. There is always life in graveyards I think. Stories to be told again and again by those who choose to look. I think its possibly the only way we might become imortal by being remembered by those who are only learning about us through their walks through such graveyards.

    The headstones are beautiful and gothic. I have always loved graveyards. I must be one of those weirdos too!


    P x

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    1. There are plenty of us weirdo's it seems Paula. Glad you're one too.

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  4. It looks like a gorgeously splendid place indeed - all those earthy smells and fallen leaves. I have the same struggle with a certain teenage boy...at least I can bribe.

    Take care

    Nina x

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    1. I bribe too sometimes Nina, but mine's more we can do armwrestling when we get back or have a paper plane competition.

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  5. I don't think you can beat a walk in a good crematory, we often walk through ours, it's only around the corner. I have been know to be too expressive with my ghost stories though, not helpful at bedtime, and the fact that the cemetery is just around the corner! Ada :)

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    1. As much I find them interesting I don't think I'd fancy one too near by Ada. What a wimp I am.

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  6. I've wafted round some lovely graveyards in the past...:) love the word scrumping xxxxx

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    1. Did you really waft Jane like a ghostlly spectre?

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  7. Living history really. Thank you for showing and telling the tales. I have always loved reading about those who went before us. Makes me feel less alone somehow.

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    1. In this graveyard the inscriptions gave a sense of incredibly real people. So interesting Susan.

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  8. It is a beautiful cemetery.

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  9. When I lived and worked in Norwich many years ago I used to walk through the cementery most days. I have many photos too, especially of the stone angel.I took some close ups of her face - a beautiful piece of sculpture. You've brought back some lovely memories of times spent wandering around there, in all seasons. Thank you.

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    1. How lovely that you know the place so well. Glad you enjoyed.

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  10. Not weird at all, enjoying a good cemetary stroll! When I was (MUCH!) younger we quite often went for a Sunday afternoon walk...probably about 8-10 miles round trip...to a cemetary where some of my 'ancestors' were laid to rest. We would give grandad's grave a quick tidy and have a mooch round, reading the headstones and I would have an impromptu history lesson from my dad - he was great on social history, from a working class perspective, and I grew up with a strong sense of justice and the fight for equality. What a shame those young lads have no snese of who they are and where they came from; just keep pegging away, Lisa, you never know what tiny drops of wisdom and enquiry might drip through and lodge in their consciousness'!

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    1. That's what I keep hoping Lynne. Small drips that will have some impact. Glad we"re not alone creeping around graveyards.

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  11. I love this post! I have always loved the stories lost within a cemetery..I've often thought how you could use the tales from a cemetery to write a fascinating book. I used to walk past a cemetery that was dedicated to the poor of Reading(Berks)every day on the way to work. Right on the edge of the cemetery, right next to a busy road was a tiny, tatty old grave for a little 10 year old boy who had died from flu around two hundred years ago. It struck me how much his parents much have been hurt by his death and how much they must have loved him to afford to buy him a grave stone (simple as it was) to remember him..it's so sad. I would always pick wild flowers and put them on his grave..that probably makes me very weird but I just felt like it was the right thing to do. Lovely post...thank you. x

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  12. Such a wonderful post!!!! x i just love the colours- what a lovely place to explore...i do love church yards too...x

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  13. I am just catching up on your posts and this one is fantastic. What a wonderful graveyard, your photos capture it beautifully.
    Anne xx

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