Victorian cemeteries offer plenty of opportunity for a good photograph. They also continue inciting my joy of Gothic horror, and romance.
I love the peace of old Victorian cemeteries and I can spend hours reading the inscriptions on the various headstones. In addition, I find the magnificent carvings of statues and angels alluring. I always imagine the statues to be watching me, just like in the film, Interview with the Vampire.
I also love finding old headstones that invite me in closer to reveal something about the one who lies there.
Trust me, the dead do have means of speaking to you from their grave. The Victorians are very good at using flowers, animals, and other objects to reveal information about the deceased.
It pains me to see how bland our cemeteries are becoming. Why would anyone want to be laid to rest in a place where all the headstones are the same?
I adore taking a walk in a Victorian cemetery and being whisked away on an adventure of intrigue and suspense.
The Victorians had the right idea when they lavished the grave of their dearly departed with monuments and statues. Of course, they did this as an expression of their wealth, love and faith.
Victorian cemeteries are designed as parks and they would regularly stroll amongst the dead. It wasn’t uncommon for families to be picnicking at the graveside of their loved ones.
Unfortunately, now we have authorities removing headstones or covering them in yellow tape. Furthermore, we have some authorities removing the vast majority of headstones and making way for green spaces. Although I hate this occurring, St James Cemetery in Liverpool is a good example of it working.
In the beginning, I always envisioned my headstone standing the test of time. Of course, I’m probably being a bit vain, but I fantasise about people visiting me centuries after my death. Most definitely if given a choice, I will have my headstone adorned with bats and skulls. Sadly though, expressing our personalities is something that died out long ago.
In addition, most plots are only for a period of approximately 75 to 99 years here in the UK. We are also running out of ground for burials. I’m more than likely to be cremated.
As for the newer cemeteries, well I just don’t feel like they hold any beauty or history these days.
Upkeep of these Cemeteries
It is a shame, but the upkeep of these Victorian cemeteries is more than likely down to funds. Hence the yellow tape and toppled monuments. Generations have moved on and therefore there is no one to pay for the maintenance of the elaborate stonework.
This is one of the reasons why I love creating graveyard and cemetery photographs. Also, I’m more than happy to work with cemetery groups to help them raise funds for preserving them. If you feel the same way as me and you manage a Victorian cemetery, then please get in touch.