monuments like these dominate the boundary walls and pathways of
St Michael's graveyard.
In their day they must have been very impressive. It is
almost as if the 18th and 19th century families of the area sought
to compete with each other to demonstrate their wealth by the size
and elaborate design of their memorials. As will be seen
from 21st century photographs used in this graveyards tour, many
are now not so impressive.
allied with weather are great levellers and while
some of the
inscriptions on these ornate memorials
are now virtually unreadable those on many of the
freestone slabs remain clear and distinct.
Compare this marble plaque detail with the simple
gravestone shown opposite which is located in the
foreground and to the right of photograph shown above.
sandtone Monuments line most of the paths throughout St. Michael's
of the graveyard in from the paths reveal a chaotic jumble of
memorial stones of all types.
Small plain upright freestone slabs, "thruchs"
(tablestones on pillars with open or slabbed sides),
massive monuments standing on plinths constructed from large stone
blocks with inset inscription panels,
and tall obelisks of various design. The photograph
below shows one of these obelisks.
Close-up of the marble inscription panels from the memorial
opposite are virtually unreadable today.
are shown two more plaques from this monument.
main inscription panel has been lost from this grave site
height as well as ornamentation seems to have been a factor in the
'competition' to impress.
buff sandstone chosen for this monument is soft and will
eventually erode away completely.
very large monument to the Hinchsliffe Family occupies the north
east corner of the old graveyard.
Being so high it is not easy to read the inscription panels from
stone slab embedded in the gravel in front of the monument.
taken in March 2001. The fresh red colour of the broken
sandstone indicate this was a recent event.
photograph, taken in October 2007, shows the broken stones still in
situ and the Sycamore tree flourishing.
the above graveyard tour we have seen from many of these old
monuments how both wind and weather have conspired together to undo
the fruits of mans' vanity. Here, in the three photographs shown
above, we have evidence of another natural force at work. A
self-seeded tree has sent its strong roots between the wall and this
The result was inevitable. The expanding roots have toppled the
monument and the fall smashed it to pieces.