Stones, moss, ivy and lichen

      I ended up wandering around the grounds and graveyard of the village church on a warm  and sunny day this week and an enlightening stroll it was too. I'd found out that the church is classed as one of the 'one thousand best churches' in England and in turn English Heritage have listed 58 of the headstones in the churchyard describing them as part of an intimidating number of 18th century headstones.

      The fifty-eight that have been listed seemed to be 18th century headstones and they go  right back to very beginning of that century, they really are masterpieces of the stonemason's art. I'll have to pay another visit and try to find the oldest example.
      The centuries of erosion by the weather along with all of the ivy, lichen and moss makes reading the inscriptions very difficult. Obviously they're all complete hammer and chisel jobs, hand and eye, there were no computerised laser cutters in those days

      The stone above, although broken, is in the centre of a circle of Yew Trees and it's a very Gothic scene. Quite disturbing in a way and a surprisingly chilly setting even on a warm day. It was good to get back out into the sunshine, warmth and flowers in the rest of the grounds.