Cemetery in the Snow

Following on my post from Saturday when we had our first snow, I shelved the pics amongst all of my others, not thinking that 3 days down the line I would have to dust off the camera again, because overnight we had an inch of snow.
  
I had a doctors appointment for 09H45, but by 08H30 I was on my way to Holy Ghost Cemetery in Basingstoke (my handy cemetery up the road). I was hoping to get better pics than the ones from Saturday, and I am confident in saying that I did. 
 
There was a lot more snow this time around and coverage was much better on the grass and headstones, in fact I was really happy with what I was seeing here.
 
Even my favourite statue was looking better with her covering of white fluff.
 
And even the grave of Captain John Aidan Liddell VC.was looking beautiful. 
 
The chapel ruins were looking spectacular too, but they look great even when it is not snowing.
 
And the path that runs past the Quaker graves and Tank Blocks was looking beautiful, it is usually a mess with greenery, but the snow smooths that out and makes everything look so much nicer.
 
There is a small garden just outside the cemetery which is probably meant as a place of reflection, although judging by the beer tins that usually sit everywhere but in the bin, it is used for drinking purposes. Today it was uniformly white, and not a beer tin in sight.
 
I was hoping that the sun would make a consistent appearance, because it kept on emerging and then hiding behind the clouds. The sun would have really made the ice sparkle and make these images so much better.  On my camera I have an effect called “Miniaturisation” which can give some very interesting effects when applied to some scenes. Cemeteries tend to work quite well with this effect, and I tried quite a few shots with it. 
I was starting to run out of time and slowly made my way out of the cemetery, shooting pics as I did. There were a lot of really great angles to be seen.
 
 
Random pics. (open in a new window)

 

So much beauty and sadness in such a small place.

 © DRW 2015-2018. Created 03/02/2015, images migrated 25/04/2016

Snow way! its white outside

I worked late on Friday evening, and on my walk home (at 00H10) I thought to myself that it wasn’t too cold and the sky was very clear with a bright moon. I even took some quick pics over the wall at the cemetery as an experiment (which did not work too good btw).
 
On Saturday morning, when I woke up I looked sleepily out of the window and it had snowed! It was white outside and definitely camera time. 

Granted there was not a lot of snow, but it was a nice smooth surface and after I had dressed I haphazardly headed out there. I really wanted to do a “cemetery in the snow” shoot if I was able, but I first needed a good recce on what the conditions were like outside.

My intention was to go check out the local football field and see what that was like, but it turned out to be a damp squib as there was not too much coverage there.

It was time to go home and grab my shopping bag and go to the shops, as I had to go past the cemetery to get there (conveniently). And of course, any useful images would help too. My flatmate said that when they had gone to the loo at 3am it had been snowing, so the fall was about 5 hours old.

And the local playpark was under snow too, although it did look like people had beaten me to it, as there were tracks leading to and from the park.

And then I was at Holy Ghost Cemetery. There hadn’t really been enough snow to give me the effect I wanted, but it was an interesting glimpse. Maybe another time? It is February now so anything can still happen between now and Spring. I remember seeing flurries in March 2013…..

Ok, now if somebody would just turn off the wind today.

© DRW 2015-2018. Images migrated 25/04/2016

Basingstoke Holy Ghost Cemetery

It’s true, I have a new favourite cemetery: Basingstoke Holy Ghost Cemetery. I spent a pleasurable hour there this morning while home hunting, and it is magnificent. It is seldom that you get a bit of everything in a cemetery, this one had most of it. The entrance I used was in Kingsclere Road, and the lodge there is a real beauty. The building dates from 1865, and the cemetery is also known as Basingstoke South View, or Old Cemetery.

Once through the gates there is a short slope and the cemetery is there in all its glory. The information board says that this was the towns burial ground from the 13th century to the early 20th century. The cemetery is full, but there are not too many headstones, the balance of the space is taken up by unmarked graves.  There are 20 CWGC graves in the cemetery, including the grave of Capt. John Aidan Liddell VC.

There are not too many statues, but there are lots of very pretty headstones, and there was one anomaly that I have not before.

I don’t know if this was a footstone that was transplanted, or whether this was one way to commemorate more than one person in the same grave. Many of the smaller headstones only had initials and a date on them. I have not seen this before, so it may just be a peculiarity of the area. 

The cemetery also boasts of a Quaker burial ground, and I really had to search to find it, although it was right under my nose. Badly overgrown, the graves stand behind what are known as “tank blocks”
These date from World War 2, and were used to protect the nearby railway station. The small headstone and small green covered mounds in the image above are the Quaker graves.  Close to these graves are the chapel ruins, and these are definitely interesting. There are two distinct sets of ruins here, the lower one was built in the early 13th century, and was dedicated to the Holy Ghost. All that remains are the west wall and the door.
The larger set of ruins is that of Sir William Sandys Holy Trinity Chapel, its origins are from the 15th century,  it was built as a place for Sir William Sandys to bury his family. 
Albeit more intact the chapel suffered during the English Civil War when the stained glass windows were removed. The chapel is now in a state of magnificent dereliction, its floor still covered in the engraved slabs used as floor monuments in many of the cathedrals I have seen. The complex also served as a grammar school until 1855, when a new school was built close by.  The tower is gated closed, but inside it are some more headstones, although why they are imprisoned in here is anybody’s guess.

 
There are two weathered tombs with effigies of knights on them, this one is possibly the tomb of Sir William De Brayboeuf, and dates from 1284.
 
No cemetery would be complete without a great tree, and this one is no exception to the rule, a really magnificent specimen lightened up my day with its beautiful colours and sheer grace.  
It is now November so Autumn is here and the light during this session was fantastic. There was only one really good statue, and it was in quite a good condition too, although a bit too high for my liking.  The headstones were generally in a good condition, although many were no longer legible. Delamination had occurred on a number of them, rendering them unreadable.

There were quite a few chest tombs, and of course I kept on coming back to those wonderful floor monuments in the chapel ruins. I do need to investigate at least 2 of them as they relate to the Sandys Family.  
The oldest one that I noted was from 1700, and I am sure that there may even be older, but age and weathering really takes its toll so legibility is often poor with these.  
And then it was time to start making tracks and head off to my next destination. As I will be moving to Basingstoke during November I will probably be returning here. With Winter approaching the chances of catching this cemetery in snow increases, and I know it is really one that is worth the effort. It is really a beautiful space. 
Random Images.
And finally, on my way out I discovered this gem.

How many cemeteries can boast of something like this? not too many I assure you (although they probably do have, but don’t boast about it)
 

Update: 31 January 2014.
 Cemetery in the snow.

And in the early hours of 31 January 2015, the first snow fell, and while there was not a lot of it, there was enough for me to grab my camera and head out. With hindsight the pics from the 31st were mediocre compared to what I got on Tuesday. Visit the Cemetery in the Snow link to see this place in the snow.  
 

DRW © 01/07/2014 – 2020. Updated 03/02/2015, images recreated 20/04/2016