Happy Halloween…

stake-through-the-heart

This old dilapidated gravestone always intrigues me. I don’t think its somewhat startling appearance is due to vandalism, as the cemetery is generally well cared for – I think it’s more an attempt to keep all the broken pieces of an old crumbling grave-marker together in some fashion, rather than have them scattered to the winds.

The cross has obviously come off from the top section of the headstone, and rather than leave it lying around I assume it has been carefully placed into the wide crack on the large covering stone to keep it reasonably upright. However, to me it looks just like someone has desperately driven the cross with huge force into the centuries old body below to be absolutely sure they’re not coming back…

Happy Halloween everybody! 🙂

Daily Prompt: Eerie

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

Gravestone-Tree

Whatever names and dates were originally carved onto the front face of this old gravestone, it’s long since eroded away leaving only the epitaph ‘R.I.P’ on the back. So perhaps the best way to guess how long it’s been there is to judge the potential age of the still-growing tree, which over the years has consumed one side of the gravestone to the extent that they now appear as one, a symbiotic siamese twin of living wood and corroding stone conjoined for eternity…

St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Leytonstone, East London

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

Weekly Photo Challenge: Numbers

gravestone-oct-1761

This old Scottish grave marker is quite clearly dated October 1761, making it almost 255 years old – when I was younger these flat stone slabs were raised up on low stone plinths top and bottom, looking a bit like stone coffee tables, but nowadays they are all laid flush with the surrounding grass, presumably for safety and also for ease of upkeep of the graveyard itself.

Many are now sadly covered almost completely with mossy grass, but thankfully the original carving on some is still visible – and in some cases (like this stone below) the moss actually helps in making the lettering clearer to read.

stone-slab

When we were kids we used to wonder about the skull and crossbones carved into some of these old stones, making up all sorts of wild and wonderful stories about potential pirates and plague, but it is far more likely that their presence was no more than a simple memento mori, a reminder that sooner or later death comes to us all…

skull-and-crossbones

Weekly Photo Challenge: Numbers

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future

For this week’s DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Future I’ve really taken it to the extreme – I guess the one future we all have to face up to sooner or later is that, one way or another, we all eventually end up pushing up the daisies – or in this case, the bluebells…

The City of London Cemetery at Manor Park in East London looks really beautiful just now with the bluebells in full bloom. Such a peaceful place to wander and ponder…

J is for Jack the Ripper

Marie-Jeanette-Kelly

Marie Jeanette Kelly, also known as Mary Jane Kelly, was the last of five female victims to be brutally murdered and mutilated by Jack the Ripper between August and November 1888 – known as the Whitechapel murders. Her little grave in St Patrick’s Roman Catholic cemetery here in Leytonstone is still looked after today by those who come to pay their respects, and is always covered in flowers.

With all the myths and conspiracy theories surrounding the identity of Jack the Ripper, sometimes it’s all too easy to forget that his victims were real flesh-and-blood women with real lives, who suffered very real deaths at the hands of this man…

In memory of Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly, may you all continue to rest in peace…

My theme for this year’s April A-Z Challenge is ‘My London A-Z’. I’ve found living in London to be very different from just visiting; in general I live a very ordinary life far removed from the craziness of the city itself, so I thought it might be fun to share my everyday experience with you all in images and words…

C is for Cemetery

Gravestone-Tree

OK, so maybe I’m a bit of a weirdo, but I like spending time in cemeteries. The thing is, I’m not really into crowded places, so living in a huge city like London I find there’s not always enough space in everyday life to get away from it all. City cemeteries can be such beautifully-kept public spaces – like public parks, but far quieter. I love exploring the old gravestones, and often wonder about the stories of the people buried underneath them. This particular nameless gravestone caught my attention, conjoined over time with its neighbouring tree…

My theme for this year’s April A-Z Challenge is ‘My London A-Z’. I’ve found living in London to be very different from just visiting; in general I live a very ordinary life far removed from the craziness of the city itself, so I thought it might be fun to share my everyday experience with you all in images and words…