The Memorial Garden

Tucked away in the western corner of our grounds lies the Chapel memorial garden.

When the chapel was converted into a private dwelling the gravestones were lifted, keeping the original graves in place, and many of them were moved to this space to create the memorial garden.

There is a covenant on the property giving public right of access to the memorial garden on Sundays between 10-2, although as it was originally a "Strangers' Graveyard", for visitors who succumbed to illness whilst here or shipwreck  victims washed up on our shores   most descendants of those interred here would be off-island.

There is  a fascinating little book called Story From Stone;   written by two local ladies it recounts little stories with an accompanying history about 40 of these graves.

I shall probably post more about this later but here are some photos  taken on this rather dull afternoon so please excuse the poor quality. 













35 comments:

  1. I just Googled the book JayCee. It does look a fascinating read and no doubt give you lots of future ideas for blogs. It's good that people will not be forgotten and they come back to life in print form.

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    1. I have almost finished reading the book now. One of the authors has a shop in town and I want to pop in and ask her about the records she viewed when researching the book. I would love to see some copies.

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  2. I wondered what you might encounter whilst digging in the garden! The garden looks well-maintained. Is it your responsibility to look after it?

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    1. Yes but it should just be a matter of sweeping and removing fallen leaves to keep it tidy as that section is fully paved, using the gravestones.
      I don't think we shall do too much digging!

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    2. I'm sure P. will be able to manage that.

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  3. Well, that is something most homeowners will not have! How interesting! Is it up to you and P to take care of it? It might feel like an honor to keep it in shape.
    Hope you are feeling well, JayCee, and the leg is healing up quickly!

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    1. We shall certainly take care of it, out of respect for those who are buried here.
      My leg has been healing well, thank you Ellen, but now it is going to be cut open again I shall be back to square one!

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  4. Oh, poor "Wee Duckie" - to be taken so young.

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    1. I know. There are several baby and infant graves here. It was not a healthy period back then and many died young. So sad.

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  5. What an amazing thing to have right in your garden, sorry "grounds!" I've looked round the graveyard over the road but haven't found any childrens graves, although many are too old to read now.
    I wonder if you will meet any interesting relatives coming to visit

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    1. Grounds sounds so much more posh doesn't it!
      I hope that we do get some relatives visiting their ancestors' graves. I would love to talk to them and hear their stories too. Even more so if they are related to the people mentioned in the book.

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  6. I like that you have the Memorial Garden in your grounds. Lots to think and find out about. Much like our cemetery just a few hundred yards from our house which I wrote about in my last post …. there are many interesting graves there including many children which was common a hundred years ago. XXXX

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    1. Yes sadly it was too common back then. I am hoping to find out more about who was buried here especially as we are sharing their last resting place. XXX

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  7. That really is a fascinating thing to have on your property.

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    1. I am looking forward to finding out more about it, Graham.

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  8. Catching up a bit . . . fascinating stuff about your garden/grounds! Sorry you have to have a little more unpleasantness regarding your skin. But thankful for modern medicine that detects these things early. Best wishes for (another) speedy recovery and recuperation!

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    1. Thanks Bob. Life is never dull at JayCee Towers!

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  9. JayCee your place just gets more and more out of the ordinary, and interesting.

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    1. I'll see what interesting stories I may be able to unearth for future posts.

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    2. errr...not at all sure that you should be unearthing ANYTHING, really.

      All terrible jokes aside, I really do think this is so very interesting. What strikes me as most interesting is that the stones were moved, but the graves left. Our back yard was part of a cemetery in the early 1800s, called pioneer cemetery. As the town grew, this became inconvenient and so the decision was made to move the cemetery. The graves were dug up, the remains moved there. Of course, some of the very oldest graves were marked with wooden tombstones which, after a few years, were rotted into the ground, so many graves were unmarked, which means that getting them all was unlikely. To have that little garden to take care of is fascinating to me, and I look very forward to hearing more about it.

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    3. Debby, when permission was granted to decommission the Chapel and convert it into a private dwelling there were lots of restrictions put in place. One of these was that the graves should be left undisturbed so they are all still there beneath our garden.
      However, I am not sure what happened to the few "important" people who were buried beneath the Chapel floor inside. I would like to find out more about those.

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    4. Perhaps they'll come to tea one day and you can all have a nice chinwag.

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  10. Not many homeowners have their own graveyards. Arguably more impressive than stables, a maze or a duck pond. In spite of the covenant, I doubt that you will see many Sunday visitors in your garden.

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    1. The previous owners lived here for 14 years and said they only saw 2 visitors to the memorial garden during that time.

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  11. It takes a special person to take on a responsibility like you both have- do you think that may have discouraged any previous would be buyers?
    Sounds like a ‘Summer of Discovery’ coming up.

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    1. I think there were probably several things about the chapel that may have put off other buyers, the graveyard being one of them. Fortunately, we were not bothered by any of the potent downsides and are happy to embrace its quirkiness. I am really looking forward to living here and discovering more about its history.

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  12. I have just been reading Cro's post, where he talks about gravestones being moved to the side in a churchyard to make more room. Odd that you should also be on the same theme!
    Where I walk the dog in the mornings there is a small cemetery at the bottom of the woods. The site used to be a National Childrens' home that was opened in 1913 and there are lots of children's graves. The site has been the home of Youth with a Mission for many years now.(A religious organisation )

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    1. I have a fascination with old gravestones and always stop to try to read the inscriptions if they are still legible. Now I have my very own collection.

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  13. Not your average garden/grounds. A sacred trust. Know that finding out more of the history will keep you occupied. Look forward to learning more about the place and the people.

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    1. Something to exercise my mind before it stops working.

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    1. It was very common back then, one after another it seems.

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  15. Oh! 'Our dear duckie' almost brought tears to my eyes. How poignant...
    xxx

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Although I am quite used to talking to myself, any comments on my posts are very welcome, provided they are not abusive. I do reply to them so please check back. It's good to talk (!)