061120.Bath, “How Hard It Is To Die.”

November 20, 2006 at 12:02 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Cathedrals and churches, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Chisel Marks, Conservation, countryside, Gardens & Parks, Monuments and Memorials, Preservation, River Avon, Sculpture, somerset, towns, Trees | 1 Comment

060928.10.Bath.St James Cemetery

St. Jam es Cemetery, south of the Avon, between Lower Bristol Road and the Great Western railroad tracks. Again, this is just a Victorian Era cemetery with most of the graves dating from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and many of them were recent burials, nothing at all special here, except that just like the cemetery near Beckford’s Tower, this one is in total disrepair! This isn’t that old! Why do Victorian cemeteries never appear to be conserved here? Please tell me this is recent vandalism!

When I lived in Copenhagen, Denmark, I was a little astonished about the grave policies in some of the rural churchyards. I would look at their spectacularly old brick churches and the graves around them, only to discover they were all from the 1980s, 1960s, late 20th century in general. Upon inquiring at a few churches, I was informed that there, the land is leased in twenty year segments, with the option to pay for several leases at one time or have a family member renew the lease. The redevelopment of Århus with Arne Jacobsen incredibly famous rådhus (town hall) there was placed in the center of the city in open land. The city is medieval, how the heck was that land free to develop? Ah, it was a medieval Christian cemetery adjacent to an old Jewish cemetery. Attempts were made to angle the building so as to preserve the Jewish cemetery, but the other one was excavated for basement storage. (Ironically, I’m sure for death certificate records.)

Today’s title quote comes from the last words of Spanish fascist dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco who died on this day in1975 after having 3/5 of his stomach removed.

Incidentally, happy birthday to a (hopefully) loyal DP viewer.

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  1. i think this is pretty common in england unfortunately. my home town has an 11th century church and it is all the victorian graves that are crumbling. i always find it a little sad. i sometimes feel like taking flowers to a random grave, but i never do…..


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