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Taphophilia

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by Sheepshape, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Oct 29, 2018
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    Taphophilia (the love of cemeteries, gravestones, epitaphs, monuments etc)....otherwise known as 'Tombstone Tourism' and not at all uncommon.
    I love old churches, but their graveyards fascinate and captivate. The older the better. The uncompromising skulls and crossbones and plain speaking to the wistful, figurative and poetic epitaphs and beautiful stone sculptures can keep me wandering around for hours.
    I keep away after dark, though!
     
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  2. Oct 29, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    There's a woman over on BYC that does a LOT of work in old graveyards repairing damaged stones and such. Cleaning them, re-setting them, "gluing" them back together if broken... If you're over on BYC, check out The Old Folks Home and her name is superchemicalgirl. She's posted many pictures of the work she's done. Quite fascinating. Of course our cemetaries over here aren't near as old as the ones you have over there...
     
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  3. Oct 29, 2018
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    But you have some wonderful old graveyards, too, according to Pinterest. Continental Europe has many, too.
    I haven't been onto BYC for some years, but I will do so.
    Over here, the oldest stones and those of prominent people are often inside the church...the aisles can be a whole series of old gravestones which were presumably once outside. My local cathedral (quite a modest church!) has lots of wall and aisle gravestones and a 10th or 11th century baptismal font and candle burner. It's never locked and is a fascinating place to spend a couple of hours.
     
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  4. Oct 29, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Yes, I've been to some of the oldest graveyards in the Boston, Massachusetts area as I was raised there. There are stones from the late 1700s and lots from the 1800s. Gosh, hard to say but I guess there are folks now who might consider stones from the mid 1900s as "ancient" :eek::barnie Just happens I was born in the mid 1900s... Doesn't seem that long ago to me... In my travels around the world I've been to a few monasteries and cathedrals... The ones I visited in Britain I found quite interesting because they had what looked like stone sarcophagus (es) in the floors inside... I mean you could walk on them if you really wanted to. Not to mention all the graves outside all around the "church" grounds... And I understand many actually have catacombs underneath them with more tombs... Not like the ones in France mind, but still... Lots of history buried there.
     
  5. Oct 30, 2018
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    Quite often there is no choice but to walk on them as they are the aisle. I never feel happy about it, though, as it seems disrespectful (even if the stone has been removed from the grave site and the person has long since turned to powder).

    I love the wording and imagery on some of the gravestones. They can be so graphic and blunt......skulls and crossbones, descriptions of folk which are very far from flattering, and numerous spelling differences (I hesitate to call them mistakes as spellings change with time). Plenty of 'ye', 'thou', 'thine' and colloquialisms, too. Some show the dreadful infant mortality which prevailed a few centuries back, with multiple babies and small children buried along with their parents.Others have 'typhoid',smallpox' and other areas. A real chronicle of the times.

    Locally many of the gravestones are in Welsh as many folk would have spoken no English. Even more spelling differences there as Welsh has much more spelling variations.

    There are many small chapels which are no longer used and have been turned into dwellings. I have been to a number......they make lovely places to live. The neighbours are SO quiet, too.........a bit spooky to go into the 'garden', though, so near to Hallowe'en!
     
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