Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

Types of memorials

There are more than 7,500 people buried in the cemetery, but only around 1,150 memorials.

Monuments differ widely in style and shape: chest, table, coffin and altar tombs; truncated pyramids; coped slabs; obelisks; standing and recumbent crosses; propped books; boulders with plaques; and deep relief sculpted figures.

Within the cemetery, you will find different types of material used in constructing the memorials, mainly various stone such as granite, marble, sandstone and limestone, but there are also examples of wood and clay. You can follow a trail to discover more about how the Cemetery represents  a rich spectrum of geological time.

The memorials also depict many types of symbols. Our perception of the past is perhaps generally biased towards thinking that cultural horizons were narrower, that communities were ‘contained’ and inward looking.  Also, that graveyards tend to be full of morbid, funereal sentiments – with skull and cross-bones, hour glasses etc.

You won’t find any representations of skeletons or the Grim Reaper in our cemetery. This is because it only opened in 1842 and by that time naturalistic themes were much more likely to be incorporated on the headstones – and so you will find  birds, trailing plants, oak leaves, vines and grapes, roses, sunflowers, tulips – some of these, such as the tulips here and ivy elsewhere, aren’t even mentioned in the bible!

 

Photos


Further Reading

For more information please contact

photo of James Moir

 James Moir

Project Manager
 07545 786 372