Cowart's Common Room
Just a moment in time

Yesterday, I blogged about a local church and couldn’t get all my pictures on the blog. Today, I thought I’d put up just one more in the Common Room of a tombstone that caught my eye. I love walking through graveyards and reading about all the different people who have lived in the area and this one especially caught my eye as the family lived here for many generations before moving to Ireland, prompting my chats with Salle de Bain to pop up in my mind. To get the picture on here, the text is lost so I have typed it below:

To the Memory of the successive Proprietors of the Brookend Farm in this Parish whose names are inscribed hereon. This Tomb is erected over the Ancient Family Burying Ground by their lineal descendant and Heir Guy Stone of Barn Hill Co of Down, Ireland AD 1846.

The above named Guy Stone died on 16th June 1862 aged 54 years and is interred in Comber churchyard Co Down, Ireland and Anne his wife died 11 February 1897 aged 75 years.

On the other side of the tombstone, the top is badly eroded and only the odd word is visible. However, a little further on it reads:

William Stone and ???? his wife. He purchased the above Farm in 1474 and died about 1506.

Thomas Stone died about 1550 and Margery his Wife.

Roger Stone died about 1604 and Joan his Wife.

Thomas Stone died about 1658 and Alice his Wife.

William Stone died in 1684 and Elizabeth his Wife

William Stone bought the farm over 500 years ago and it is still here today, just down the road from Bromesberrow Church, which dates back to 1170AD. It is this connection with the past, this sense of timelessness that draws me to churchyards wherever we go.

J is a walking encyclopaedia on the First World War – he has put in hours of research and we have visited battle grounds in Belgium and France as he builds his knowledge. These places sadden me as they are about mankind’s destruction of itself, through war and intolerance, but still I feel myself pulled in to finding out more. J collects WW1 medals and researches the life of every soldier. There are many other collectors out there that make sure these men (boys in many cases) are never forgotten.

Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday and I do always get reflective at this time as we pause to think of those that have given their lives in times of war. However, my visit yesterday, and discovering this ancient family’s tomb, reminds me that so many others have gone before us and this makes me feel very humble indeed.

I hope you do not find this post morbid – it is not intended to be and, reading it back, I find myself hoping that I have conveyed my feelings of historical “awe” at these glimpses of people and times long gone.

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Posted at 8th Nov 2008 - 11:41AM   Posted by Woozle1967   Just a moment in time Comments: 12

Toady's Avatar That's so interesting Woozle. I love old church yards too. When we were in Cornwall we went to Tregony to have a look for some of OH's ancestors. We found a few of them there, but not quite sure how they fit in yet.

Posted by: Toady on 8th Nov 2008 at 12:09PM

Faith's Avatar I too am very interested in old tomb stones. I don't find your post morbid. It is a shame that now so many people are cremated that we lose a lot of history. Isn't there some sort of grave stone society - people logging the info on the grave stones before they are lost due to the weather wearing them away.

RIP all who made the greatest sacrifice.

Posted by: Faith on 8th Nov 2008 at 12:20PM

Frances's Avatar Thank you for putting up this post to add to your very interesting blog. It is very good to have a regard for everyone who came along before we did.

I even admire the actually work of those who carved these moving messages on the stones.

Best wishes.

Posted by: Frances on 8th Nov 2008 at 12:49PM

Mootia's Avatar Not morbid at all, Woozle and a timely reminder for tomorrow. Churchyards are wonderul places, and always full of surprises. We have one grave in our village which contains two men - who 'farmed' together in the neighbourhood. I'm guessing that in the 1800s there was no chance of them being regarded as a couple!

Posted by: Mootia on 8th Nov 2008 at 12:55PM

Snailbeachshepherdess's Avatar Not morbid at all - its all our history after all.
Next time you are up this way Shelve and Trelystan Churches for you - pronto!
Another avid tombstone reader here!
I had a wonderful time in Spitalford cemetery when we stayed in @tm's cottage - fishermen and naval graves...dozens of 'em
See you later!!! Laughing

Posted by: Snailbeachshepherdess on 8th Nov 2008 at 12:58PM

Mountainear's Avatar They hold a similar fascination for me too - all those lives and their intricacies gone before. There must be worse places to rest than in a country churchyard.

Posted by: Mountainear on 8th Nov 2008 at 03:12PM

Pondside's Avatar Another graveyard afficionada here too Woozle. I did my degree in geography and loved the human geography side. Of course we have no tombstones as old as that one, but we have many former boom towns, now ghost towns, in which the only real record of human habitation is the cemetary. So many of the headstones hold an incredible amount of information - where in the UK (usually) the person was born, what he/she did and how he/she died.

Posted by: Pondside on 8th Nov 2008 at 03:19PM

Withy Brook's Avatar Woozle, your reaction to all those 'gone' people is much the same as mine. They are the history - they made it and sometimes they leave some of it behind for us to find. So many small children in our graveyard from the Victorian period. They could be hiding a secret - their mothers mostly died very young too. Don't suppose I shall ever find out why.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 8th Nov 2008 at 03:38PM

Salle de Bain's Avatar Very interesting Woozle...I know Comber. There are many hidden clues to be found re: gravestones. The position in the churchyard, the materials, the motifs used etc....can all point to a persons status, religion, profession, wealth can form quite a comprehensive picture by looking at the whole.

Lots of churches now have all the graves on a data base...very good thing in view of the disappearing evidence. There are lots of paupers graves around here...just marked with a one will ever know who they sad I think.

Posted by: Salle de Bain on 8th Nov 2008 at 04:33PM

Cait's Avatar I love old churchyards too Woozle, they are a great link to those gone before us.

Posted by: Cait on 8th Nov 2008 at 05:18PM

Camilla's Avatar Thank you for sharing this interesting post with us Woozle.

I often go to the local churchyard to visit a friend's grave there, there is a tiny wooden bench just under the spot where friend is buried which was donated by a family of a tinly little boy of only 1 years of age, who is buried next to my friend, so sad. But it is very calming there, especially in springtime when blossom is out, I think my friend would be happy to know that she is in a beautiful spot.

While I am in the churchyard I see many other graves dated back to victorian times. I don't find it morbid at all Woozle, rest in peace to all those soldiers who sacrificed their lives that we may live on.


Posted by: Camilla on 8th Nov 2008 at 05:18PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Lovely post Withy - it brings history alive and makes it real - not just something to be read in a book.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 9th Nov 2008 at 12:29PM

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