Monday, 3 November 2014

Guess who's living here with the great undead?


Long-time readers of this blog will know of my great affection for Sheffield's General Cemetery; it has already featured in posts here and here.


In the spirit of loving where I live, I returned today for a wander in the autumn sunshine.

At the risk of sounding antisocial, I really enjoy time alone, and I especially like spending it here. 
 

I passed Sharrow Mills, where snuff manufacturers Wilsons and Co have been in operation since the mid-18th century and continue as a family-run business today.


Heading down Frog Walk...


along the side of the Porter Brook...


to the gatehouse of the cemetery.

Wandering here is a tranquil experience; it's hard to believe you are in a busy suburb of a big city.


There are catacombs...


graves leaning against trees for support or genuflecting in the undergrowth...


fine romantic monuments in the Greek style (this one is to William Parker, a cutlery exporter)...


and an Egyptian-style Non-Conformist Chapel, which is currently undergoing renovation.



 This is how it looked back in 1836 (from the cemetery website here).



1960s Kenrose dress - flea market
1980s jacket - vintage shop
Ankle boots - Ebay
Bangles - charity shopped
Carpet bag - gift


There are favourite ladies...


and graves telling such sad stories;


brothers Albert and Ebenezer died 10 years apart...


three of John and Sarah Andrew's daughters died in five years, all under a year old...



while William Wilson lost both his wife Sarah (who probably died in childbirth), and 3 months later, his baby son.

I wonder whether he was part of the Wilson family who ran the snuff factory?


 The derelict church has scaffolding and protective netting in place. I doubt it is being repaired, I think it's more likely to be a precaution against masonry falling on passing dog walkers.


 I saw more squirrels than people this morning...


which was fine by me.








Without the slightest inclination towards any faith at all, I find this place endlessly fascinating.


It's good to find a place that soothes the soul. 

xxx

47 comments:

mondoagogo said...

Ah, I love a good cemetery, especially one that's a little bit wild. I love how your outfit has you almost vanishing into the background (spooky!) and I love the ourboros too.

mondoagogo said...

Ooh, FIRST!

Connie said...

Oh Curtise. You look so beautiful wandering around the cemetery. Like a beautiful Victorian ghost. I can see why you like it there. Lovely lovely outfit.

Laurie Duncan said...

I would love to visit that cemetery! In fact I would love to live right next door to one! I do love your fitted jacket, so romantic! :)

Patti said...

If we can enjoy our own company, we won't be bored or lonely. I love these pictures, esp the tombstones with their sad but loving tributes. And you look wonderful while wandering! xox

Beth Waltz said...

Curtise, you reveal your sense of theatre in wearing this serenely beautiful costume, which is perfect for poetic reflections in this timeless place!

As always on such jaunts, you have a sharp eye for an image that tells a story of one thousand words. I know pro caption writers who would envy your line about gravestones "leaning against trees for support, genuflecting in the grass."

Thanks for inviting us to share your solitary walk on such a crisp, sunbright day. It's delightful to imagine being there with you!

Goody said...

The Victorian era cemeteries are nicer than many of the public gardens of the era (I think that was a deliberate movement in the US, where they had the space to just start from scratch). Did you know that my first date with Mr. ETB was a walk through an historic cemetery in Boston, MA? I thought it romantic, he thought it thrifty.

The grave markers give you pause, don't they? The 1860's don't seem that terribly far away (particularly to some of us that are still wearing the clothes and using the furniture of the era)yet in terms of medicine it might as well have been 500 years.

You could not have selected a better outfit for your visit-vibrant, alive, yet not *too* jubilant as to be disrespectful to the place. I'm not religious, but those sorts of places deserve a bit of decorum. Don't want any ghosts screaming at you to, "Get off my lawn!"

I do enjoy when bloggers do tours of where they live. I like a good vintage handbag, don't get me wrong (and yours is great)but I like seeing them out in the world, and learning a thing or two about how people live (or in this case, died).

Natalia Lialina said...

Beautiful place, Curtise. I checked out the other posts too. I can't say that I love visiting cemeteries, and I have not seen many. This one is special. It actually reminds me one historic cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio which I visited a few times to photograph. I might write a post about it some day. On a sunny bright day, it looks almost like a gorgeous park. On a dark blustery day, it's spooky. So many sad stories... and yet like you, I felt peaceful there.

Very elegant outfit, so appropriate for the place. I can tell you love being there.

I spend a lot of time alone, call me anti-social. I went swimming today - love it when a pool is wonderfully empty, and I can swim and swim and swim till my body is exhausted and all the thoughts, to the very last one, are gone. The soul feels refreshed then. Probably a little like your experience today. :)

xxxxx

Debberoo said...

I miss the grave yards of England, which sounds weird but you clearly understand.

Sheila said...

That was marvelous, thank you! It calms me as well, to walk through graveyards.

Olga Rani said...

Such places have special charm, some sense of peace and tranquility. And beauty. Thanks for the walk around.

Melanie said...

I love that dress - it looks like you just materialized from the flora, especially in the first photo, like camouflage.
This is a spectacular cemetery. Very beautiful and I understand how it soothes the soul.
The snake swallowing its tail has always been a favourite motif.

Vix said...

We need to go there next time I come to Sheffield, its beyond gorgeous. All that beauty tinged with sadness. Love the Egyptian tomb and the serpent ironmongery (wouldn't that make a great necklace?) and those gorgeous steps.
You look stunning in Ken's dress and that slinky fitted jacket and your hair is looking good!
Apparently Bradford has one of the finest cemeteries, maybe a day out with a curry?
Love you! xxxxx

beate grigutsch said...

thank you curtise for taking us with you on this wonderful romantic autumn walk!!!
beautiful pics of your hometown - wikipedia says its the greenest city in europe! i enjoy your explaining of the history too, i´m a bit of a history geek i fear. if i ever come to sheffield i´d like to have you as a guide!
your sweet black tailleur (aka jacket) is a stunner, the fresh blueish flowers of the dress let it really shine. and always a cool carpet bag :-) trés chic!
do i sound unsocial too when i´m saying that i look forward happily to the winter - when nobody is around here (all the near houses are summerhouses) and a can enjoy silence?
xxxxx

Mother of Reinvention said...

Thanks for the tour of your beautiful haunt (sorry). I love a good graveyard. They are always so peaceful. This one looks like a beaut. There is a nice one in Glasgow, the Necropolis and if you are ever in Edinburgh, Warriston and Greyfriars cemetreries are really worth a visit. I love how they are always full of wildlife and the sounds of the City just melt away. Looking lovely, your dress is great. Xxxx

Asparagus Pea said...

There's a big one near us in Cardiff that I've been meaning to go to for years. Perhaps I'll take you on a virtual tour there. not today though - it's pissing down! xxx

Sue said...

I love old cemeteries, not that we have any as old as your one, and I also enjoy being on my own. Once more Curtise, thank you for taking me on your tour, I thoroughly loved every single bit of it, squirrels and all!! Where are we going next???

Melanie said...

I love cemeteries in the autumn, it's the best time to have a wander. That gatehouse is incredible! Poor John and Sarah, such a tragic tale. You look lovely xxx

Sarah Jane said...

I remember the previous posts well. Such a beautiful place to wander. I'm glad my favourite sunken lady made an appearance again. Stupid question but here goes: how do ou get such good pictures of yourself when you're out alone?? xxx

Sarah Jane said...

I remember the previous posts well. Such a beautiful place to wander. I'm glad my favourite sunken lady made an appearance again. Stupid question but here goes: how do ou get such good pictures of yourself when you're out alone?? xxx

Winter Moon said...

This has to be the most beautiful cemetery I've ever seen! Wow!

I love time alone too, and can think of no finer way to spend it, than a walk in the Autumn sunshine.

Your entire outfit is just perfect!

xx

Fiona said...

How poignant your post is today Curtise as I've just learned that my friend's sister died this morning. You've captured the essence of the cemetery not only with your description,(Beth is spot on when she mentions your talent with words) but your photographs of little details that some others would miss. Did you take your tripod?
Shame the church is derelict tho.
xxx

diaryofapennypincher said...

What a serene place to walk. I do like a good old graveyard, the headstones tell so much. You are suitably thoughtfully dressed for the occasion too!

Ivy Black said...

Top post, love. I do like a cemetery...good places for pondering I always think. I'd love a walk there.
I'm much taken with the serpent. Would make a great tattoo.
Loves ya.
xxxxxx

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

My husband and I used to live across the street from a large cemetery and would often go walking there in the evenings. I do find they are such wonderful quiet calm places.

You did a wonderful job of capturing this one, with all the greenery and tombstones. It looks very romantic.

Your outfit does as well. You managed to get some great shots of yourself there. Did you take a tripod?

LOVE the carpet bag!


bisous
Suzanne

Aya in Couturgatory said...

What a gorgeous walk!

My father freaks out at cemeteries. I always went with my grandmother as a child, and I find them peaceful, pretty places. Maybe because no one died there, they all passed elsewhere and were brought there.

If I had three young ones running 'round after me all day, I'd appreciate the solitary walk, too!

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Gorgeous photos Curtise. And even gorgeouser capet bag. (That might not be an actual word.) Your cemetary reminds me of the sprawling Pere Lachaise in Paris. It's every bit as fabulous. xxxx

Porcelina said...

It looks like a really special place, I think I would enjoy it! Lovely photos, very atmospheric. P x

Krista Gassib said...

If I had cemeteries like this in my neighborhood when growing up I'd frequent them for the same reasons you do! This place is tranquil and I could wander for hours there. The grave marker leaning on the tree is beautiful! I think you see the world with a very unique perspective, I mean you enjoy graveyards and time alone gee Curtise how'd you get so healthy:)
Promise me next time I come visit that we will have a blogging photo session in this cemetery.
Miss you gals like crazyxxxxxxxxxxxxx

thorne garnet said...

I live a block from the "old" city graveyard, it's not nearly as interesting as this one. Silly me, I should walk over and do a post! You could be starting a trend: blogger graveyards!

Lesley Extance said...

You look fabulous , the outfit is wonderful.
A wonderful post Curtise xxx

Ju bohomumma said...

not anti social at all, highly sensible if you ask me, as I also prefer periods of my own company. You look amazing and that looks a fascinating spot .

ArgentGal said...

What a beautiful place, no wonder you like it there. Time alone is wonderful. I think it's really important for everyone to spend some time away from the demands and distractions of everyday life. Your outfit is lovely and very much in keeping with the calm and beauty of the location.

Kezzie said...

It looks a really beautiful place! Thank you for taking me along with you. I do like your outfit too!x

Elizabeth Rebecca said...

I think there is something a little bit special about a cemetery - just a little creepy but still beautiful.

Lizzie's Daily Blog

Miss Magpie said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. x

Shawna McComber said...

What a beautiful place! Our local cemetary is dull and not park like, just flat and open with a few trees and although I have siblings, and uncle and grandparents buried there I am not inclined to visit. I would visit this one though.
xoxo

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

As always, you're the liveliest lady in the vicinity ... with the squirrel of course, and you're looking lovely while you're at it. Pretty dress, smart blazer and boots, charming bag and a suitably pensive demeanor for your solitary stroll.
Thank you so much for these photo tours (again ... I always love them.) Oh, Curtise, you'd be shocked at what the locals do with their family graves here. The old section of our little local graveyard has a few 19th century monuments, but mostly sad little square markers. But most of the graves are "modern" stones ... low, ugly grave stones, mostly carved with maudlin sentiments. Every year, southerners have a custom that used to include cleaning up the family sites, perhaps adding a few fresh flowers or live plants. Can't use live plants anymore ... too much trouble to keep up by the management ... so everyone just drapes everything with the cheeziest grave toppers made of cheap "silk" flowers with plastic leaves. It's colorful, for sure ... and awful looking. Pretty much just a southern, rural custom. We are morally suspect because we refuse to participate. My mother would have hated them! But some fool always brings some anyway, no matter what we want.
So thanks for reminding us what quiet beauty can be found in such places.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I have always loved graveyards. Spent many a happy hour in them as a child. I never found them scary.
My grandma used to say: 'it's not the dead ones you need to be bothered about.'

Kelly Roy said...

I can totally relate to your love of cemetaries and the quiet almost unreal feeling in there. I used to live for a summer in a squat in Holland which was the main building in a cemetary not in use anymore.I would spend hours and hours wondering inthe lush vegetation looking at the antique graves, the inscriptions anything! I thoroughly enjoyed the toyr you gave us. Excellent photography and great fit jacket,too.
Does enjoying movies alone at the movie theater makes you asocial??? Cause I do.

kobieta niewidzialna said...

Amazing photos and you are very stylish .Best

Angels have Red Hair said...

I love a wander in a graveyard … and feel like I just had one … thank you :0)
They are so fascinating … and heartbreaking … and uplifting … all at the same time.
xx

Catherine said...

how amazing! i don't at all find them scary, but like you they are so interesting. so many stories and symbols and signs of grandeur. everyone tries their best to give their loved ones a nice send off and carve it in stone for use to keep seeing hundreds of years later. We have one large one ins Sydney called Rookwood and it used to have its own train line to take people from Sydney city, out to the cemetery for the funeral before cars came about. And most headstones here are made of sandstone as it is so abundant. but the gates are usually locked at night because its more like a business then a general access park. though i know lots of people can walk through there during the day and the design college students go over there to study architecture history to and do rubbings

and i love the mossy damp stones. they are very lovely to look at

Forest City Fashionista said...

Thank you so much for that little vicarious walk through the woods and the cemetery. I love old cemeteries and when I've travelled in Europe I always spend a lot of time photographing cemetery sculpture. The peace and quiet is very soothing.

That jacket is a splendid fit!

freckleface said...

There's so much in a cemetery to reflect on. The stories of other people's lives and deaths. How that makes us think about our own lives and of people we have lost. The peace and quiet. The beauty. The time for contemplation. It's a big and very human experience. I love them and I think it is wonderful to have some time alone, especially when you are the heart of a busy household. I bet it is is lovely to be alone with no demands! Great photos my lovely. That jacket fits you to perfection, love it! Xxxxxx

señora Allnut said...

such a wonderful place to go for a walk alone, yes, it looks romantic and decadent and evocative!, and you're pretty gorgeous wearing your maxi dress, like a floral creature!!, fabulous!
besos

Trees said...

Lovely. As a history nerd I find old cemeteries endlessly interesting. I am always saddened by how many people left this earth so quickly in days gone by. You look lovely in this outfit - especially the jacket.