Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Dead of Bewcastle

In my post on Bewcastle you may have noticed a large number of moss covered old tombstones.  The St. Cuthbert's church yard, while new by the standards of the site, contains quite a few graves that are 200 to 250 years old.  We visited on a gloomy, overcast day.  This, along with the interesting effects of wind and moss in this remote place, made for some evocative pictures.

Ah, I am a realist.  My recent 1200 word essay on the intricate history of Bewcastle will get less attention on Google Search than this post that contains phrases like "Creepy Old Graves" and "Really Old Tombstones".  Sigh.  Well, if you turned up here looking for images like that you are welcome to use them.  Link back HERE if you want to know more.  Hey, I also have a cute llama pic there....

As you wander virtually around the church yard at Bewcastle, you notice how often the names of certain ferocious old Reiver families turn up.  Armstrongs, Nixons, Musgraves...

Notice also how many graves have a military theme.  It has ever been true that once you persuade your border ruffians to fight for you rather than against you, they become some of your very best troops.

The Church Yard.


A tomb with a view. The Norman castle is just over the fence.  I wonder how many Roman artifacts come up when they dug graves here....

Seems like the moss is trying to pull this one under.

I like the inscription on the left.  Here Lieth the Body of Margaret, wife of John Baron of Pigshead...
One sort of imagines the inhabitants of a village so named might have been a bit tipsy in life.  They certainly are here, in death.
Dog? Cat? The snout looks more like an anteater.
You see plenty of graves with what I assume are family crests.  Or Regimental insignia?
An interesting marker.  I recall that some of these had the names and dates on the back.
I really like this style.  The lower third is odd.  Was something plastered over here?  Or did you pay not only by the letter but by how much of the rough stone was prepped for carving?  Sort of ruins the effect in my opinion.


The Dead of Bewcastle are not all ancient.  Here rests John Gass of the Border Regiment.  He died in 1917 from wounds suffered on the Western Front.

2 comments:

a hastings bird said...

Maybe Maggie Routledge's artists skipped Kerning 101 at the stone carving institute. Now if she'd had a graduate of the DL sign program do the work ...

Tacitus2 said...

I visited this site with our pal Pete. He just posted on facebook from the Twicey. He is sipping scotch. He taunts us. Oh, how he taunts us all.

T