Mar. 31st, 2012

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I indulged in a little retail therapy this morning.  Got various bits and bobs for my forthcoming hols (including a suitcase, since my last suitcase expired in Sorrento...), failed to get Doctor Who: The Daemons (boo!) but got Doctor Who:  The Day of the Daleks instead (yay!) plus a carrot from Lush to stick in the bath... 

Time to post about gravestones now.  I've already  featured a skeleton reclining in a hammock, but haven't really spent too much time and effort talking about the modern funerary memorials of Saint Andrews.

So here we are...

The old cathedral precinct has been retained as the modern burial ground for Saint Andrews (I'm talking 'modern' as in the 18th/19th century/post-Reformation sense, rather than 'present day' sense here - I suspect most late 20th and 21st century interrments are placed elsewhere, except in the case of locals who have an ancestral lair here...).  This has probably assisted in the preservation of the precinct walls, which have been retained as a means of demarcating the space for the dead from the space for the living.

First impressions reveal a place which is stuffed full of very interesting memorials.  There's table tombs and headstones aplenty:-

But...  A casual inspection fails to reveal very much in the way of eighteenth century headstones.  You know, the ones featuring interesting motifs, like winged souls, symbols of mortality, items associated with the incumbent's profession in life, etcetera.  Okay, there's the odd skeleton in a hammock, but, in comparison to most other Fife graveyards, there's very little there.

But there are a few.  Like like this little one:-

And the headstone shown below, which features a skull and crossed longbones:-

And which dates to the 1740s:-

There's a reason for this complete absence of memorials, of course.  And it's not just due to the inobservant character of the graveyard sleuth who's writing this post.  Tomorrow, I'll show you some splendid sixteenth century memorials, which are cunningly hidden in plain sight, and then, before I disappear to France, I'll explain what's happened to most of the eighteenth century examples.

But now I've got a date with Diva, so adieu!


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