The End Of The Road

The End Of The RoadThe End Of The Road
CameraSony DSC-F828
Exposure Modeauto
Focal Length20.0mm
Exposure1/125 sec.
ISO Speed64
Whilst I am not a religious person I find churches really quite interesting places. There is always something to see, from interesting architecture to art or items of cultural or historical significance. The bigger the church the more there usually is to see, but often small or abandoned churches can be just as interesting. Certainly in England older churches often have graveyards and old gravestones can be exceptionally interesting; sometimes the inscriptions tell of obvious family heartache while some are fantastic pieces of art.

The End Of The RoadThis weeks photo was taken when we were on honeymoon and staying at Dalhousie Castle just south of Edinburgh. The map showed that there were remains of a church right next to the castle grounds and so whilst we were wondering around enjoying the sunshine we went to take a look. There are some quite substantial bits of wall remaining and so it is clear that the building used to be a church, but what interested me (as usual) were the gravestones. A lot of the stones were well worn and so any writing was somewhere between faint and non-existent, but many still had clear carved decoration. It may seem strange to some people, but on a nice sunny day there are not many places as relaxing as an old churchyard, especially one with as much to look at as this one. The photo itself is straight from the camera and hasn't been edited at all.

The End Of The RoadGiven that there isn't much else to say about processing the photo I thought I'd share a couple more gravestone photos. This one is from the Kilmuir Graveyard at the north end of the Troternish peninsula on Skye. This stone apparently marks the grave of Angus Martin and "according to tradition, this slab at the rear of the cemetery depicting a mailed figure, once marked the grave of an early Scottish king but was stolen by Angus on one of his forays to be placed in due course over his own grave; he is reputed to have carried it up on his back from the shore. Angus was known as Angus of the Wind because of his insistence on going to sea in all weathers; he was reputed to have married a Danish princess and had seven sons". To my mind this is probably the best stone in the graveyard although by far from the only one of interest; there is a large monument to Flora MacDonald, the grave of Charles MacArthur one of the famous pipers to the Lord of the Isles (I couldn't actually locate this one), and the grave of Dr John Maclean physician to the MacDoanld's at Duntulum who was commended by Dr Johnson for his wide learning.

The End Of The RoadAnd just to prove you don't have to go quite so far out of the way to see interesting gravestones here is a photo I took back in 1994 as part of a school history project (given the date it should be obvious that this photo wasn't taken with a digital camera but has been scanned from a 35mm film negative hence the slightly odd aspect ratio and lower quality) The photo shows an intricately carved gravestone in the churchyard of St Mary's in the Wood in Morley where I grew up. There has been a church on the same site since at least the time of the Domesday Book if not before (although the modern church dates to only 1878) so there are a whole stack of interesting gravestones to look at and photograph. Unfortunately the church and it's grounds have apparently now been sold to a developer as the congregation could no longer afford to pay for its upkeep; hopefully the gravestones won't be lost in any redevelopment.


GB said...

Yes. From a photographers point of view there are rich pickings to be had in a graveyard.

GB said...

I should add that when I saw the title I immediately though that you'd decided to abandon the blog. Glad you haven't!

Mark said...

Nope, definitely not abandoning the blog. The title originally had a double meaning but it kind of got lost as I was writing the post.

The remains of the church at Dalhousie are actually at the end of a road, although I realized this isn't clear from the map and so omitted that from my description but kept the title.

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