The graveyard

Last year, I visited a really ancient church near the ruins of Bramber castle (in England).

It never ceases to amaze me how people built churches with their bare hands as a stone monument to their faith and determination.

The old grave stones stick out of the ground like crooked giant’s teeth.

There is a sense of peace and history as you walk around the church.

We meet a fox and he stops, looking at us for several minutes without moving – as if trying to communicate something.

When he moves off, we continue our walk.

I wonder why so many of us like graveyards?

Is it because they remind us to feel thankful that we are still so alive?

Or is it the sense of lives lived that we find soothing – and the reminder, perhaps,

That a life lived well and with kindness is long enough.

For more life, please visit: My World.

65 responses

  1. Jim

    I’m with you about graveyards…….they are so peaceful. I think too that they are places that we know we will be at some point and this realization is like ‘making peace’ with our existence.
    These are lovely shots, especially being there when the fox was.
    I can’t imagine a structure still being intact after such a long period of time….amazing!
    Jim

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 16:46

  2. MT

    I like to visit churches, for the sake of art and architecture, but don’t like graveyards much 😦
    just because, well, they make it too obvious that you’re going to die.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 16:47

  3. I love the fox 🙂

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 16:50

  4. I love that last cross…. its unique!!

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 16:56

  5. They are beautiful, and historic, and I suppose peaceful. I love the fox also. You are lucky to see one.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 17:18

  6. Lady Fi,
    I think we like grave yards because we know there is something better afterwards Great photos xxx

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 17:35

  7. The fox looks good, and in good condition too.
    Personally I’m neutral about graveyards.
    Great photos. Interesting post.

    All the best, Boonie

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 17:38

  8. Being American, when I visit England it totally blows my mind to think how old everything is. I never cared for history when in school, but now I’m more intrigued with it.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 17:41

  9. Great shots, Like the church and the Fox.
    Graveyards to me makes me wonder what sort of folk they were and how they lived their life.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 17:42

  10. Amy

    I have wondered the same thing, what is it that attracts me to a graveyard..it seems a bit morbid, but I find a sense of peace there…looking at all those headstones and knowing those people were once loved, lived exciting lives or just regular lives like you and me…they had children and grandchildren…or they had no one…but they had a life…a story…and it is in that graveyard I stand that they have been laid to rest for eternity…it does something to you to be surrounded by so much history in one place…

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 17:46

  11. I really like these shots. Graveyards are peaceful places I think – places where there is an element of old-fashioned respect. I find the graveyards at Imber in the middle of Salisbury Plain to be especially poignant as relatives can only pay their respects when the military opens the village a couple of times a year.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 17:49

  12. What amazes me, when we’re traveling in Europe and we go to a cathedral and read the history of it…it generally took 200 to 400 years to build…I can’t even imagine being a craftsman, working on a project that I will never see completed, or perhaps never saw it begun either…it boggles my mind.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 18:04

  13. that is gorgeous stone work on the church…wonder if it has to do with old testament alters made to remember moments, hmm…graveyards do entrance me…it is the peace i find there honestly…a final resting…and memories carved in stone…

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 18:05

  14. Really nice shots. I think I like graveyards because they are so peaceful, and filled with history.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 18:05

  15. I love imaging the lives people lived and wondering about them. And it reminds me to be grateful for the time I have here “on this mortal coil” as Mo says. It is fleeting but beautiful. Love the Fox!!!

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 18:07

  16. I always liked visiting graveyards to read about people’s lives and ancestry… Always a little saddened when you see someone that left early on, and then you remember the people you miss too… Thanks for sharing! The fox is beautiful!

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 18:45

  17. I know you love (or would love) Tuscany….full of history, beautiful buildings…and people really respect their heritage, traditions…
    Your pics are great as always…
    Have a good week!

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 20:05

  18. How haunting!

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 20:27

  19. Lady Fi, great pictures. Wow, a fox so close. Wonder if his ancestors roamed there?

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 20:30

  20. JM

    Awesome shots of a fantastic place! And you even spotted a fox, lucky you! 🙂

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 20:50

  21. Beautiful images – amazing that it’s been standing there since 1073! I enjoy visiting cemeteries myself, I think because of the connection to those who went before me.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 20:55

  22. That’s wonderful. The fox is an added bonus.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 20:57

  23. That’s a beautiful church and graveyard and I love the shot of the fox.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 21:05

  24. wonderful to spend some time here.. your picture is great, I love nr 2!
    happy week to you:-)

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 21:29

  25. Like your new comment form. I’m not a fan of graveyards, but I do love the old English churches when I visit the UK. I prefer the old pubs though.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 21:31

  26. I love graveyards too. history takes a rest there. what’ amazing to me are the dates. 1073? I’m accustomed to seeing buildings dated around 1850 perhaps at the earliest. And I’m truly awed by your getting a photo of the fox. I’ve seen them but they’ve never ever stopped for me and stood still, waiting. that’s remarkable.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 21:36

  27. I don’t like going to the grave of my husband. I know I should but it makes me sad and lonely. Amazing how old this church is. Still it’s a beautiful building. Thanks for visiting. Have a great week!

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 21:37

  28. I like when churches have graveyards inside their compoond. I like visiting those graveyards. Other graveyards give me the creeps, which it shouldn’t. Coz they are peaceful places.

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 22:21

  29. Lovely shots!

    Like

    June 13, 2011 at 23:19

  30. Lovely, lovely, lovely. And can you think of any modern buldings which will/should survive as long? And the fox was a bonus. Thanks.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 00:12

  31. I like graveyards like this one, but not the kind where everything looks exactly the same. Those make me sad.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 01:29

  32. Al

    Very nice photos. I like graveyards because they’re so peaceful, a world apart from our own hectic one.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 01:53

  33. Wonderful pictures!
    There is something about graveyards that I find very peaceful!
    Recently my husband and I wen to a little town to visit and we took a walk and came upon a graveyard and I walked through it for a few hours just reading about the people that “live” there now.
    I wanted to know about the people how long they lived on earth.
    There was a young boy that died last year when he was only 4 and i felt so sad that it life was so short!

    Oh, love the fox!

    Margie 🙂

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 02:07

  34. Oh .. I just love the fox!! He is so bright. I think foxes are very attractive animals and you almost never see them.

    I do think graveyards with personality (like the one you photographed) are attractive because of their peaceful air, their sense of mystery and the fact that it makes you feel both mortal and immortal. I hate when they are not cared for or have no personality. Too many around here are just sandwiched on highways and between strip malls — it is unseemly and feels so disrepectful.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 02:13

  35. Urban foxes are so common in London! 😉
    They are not shy at all.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 02:41

  36. such a thoughtful post

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 02:48

  37. Cool graveyard and nice looking fox.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 03:29

  38. I’m also amazed with ancient people’s way of work building church stone by stone. The place is calm and peaceful offering the deceased of generations quiet sleep. I wonder what fox had in he/she mind when he/she exchanged looks with you.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 06:02

  39. I have mixed feelings when I see grave yards. I recently saw a graveyard belonging to Jews in Prague.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 06:34

  40. I think it is partly because sometimes you get to read something on a gravestone that brings the people alive – not just a name and date, but a description of what they meant to those left behind, sometimes even a determination to continue the work they began. Regardless of our own beliefs, there is a sort of immortality conferred by those moments.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 11:00

  41. such a beautiful and peaceful place.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 11:41

  42. Hi there – great set of pictures. The things that amazes me if that communities had enough time to build these huge religious buildings. Sure people did not have a lot to eat, but to be able to divert all that time away from farming – and still not die of starvation! – means that there must have been some form of surplus labour or food. Thats not the picture I got from school room history.
    Cheers – Stewart M – Australia

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 11:58

  43. Interesting historic church.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 12:57

  44. Very nice shots!
    Don’t like very much visiting graveyards but this one is very interesting and if I was sure to meet such a beautiful fox I surely would visit my village graveyard!

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 13:20

  45. I love your sense of whimsy.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 13:48

  46. Very rare and interesting post. liked it.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 14:56

  47. What a nostalgic place although the grave is different from our countri’s.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 15:13

  48. I love those beautiful pictures with excellent frames of this romantic church and cemetery. Beautiful.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 17:18

  49. Graveyards are so peaceful and relaxing…just sauntering around looking at the age old history all over the monuments plus the vegetation and sounds and light…so many factors. I lived near a cemetery while growing up which was on a hill with many, many trees..I loved going there…I felt like I was in a cocoon.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 17:49

  50. beautiful church and photos, very nice series

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 17:54

  51. Perhaps when we visit graveyards we feel we are granting a bit of immortality to those who have gone before and hope someone will come after we are gone to acknowledge us.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 17:54

  52. I especially like the Celtic cross. What rich history you captured! 1073–wow!

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 18:18

  53. They remind us to celebrate the living… and the lived.

    Like

    June 14, 2011 at 20:17

  54. Beautiful post. I have come to realize I love graveyards for the reminder that life will go on and that life remembers life. The continuity stretches into the past as well as the present.

    Like

    June 15, 2011 at 04:36

  55. cloudia

    a fox and great post!

    Aloha from Waikiki 🙂

    Comfort Spiral

    >

    >

    <

    Like

    June 15, 2011 at 06:05

  56. Wonderful post

    Like

    June 15, 2011 at 11:57

  57. Pictures are soothing and tranquil and so are the words… beautiful 🙂

    My Yatra Diary…

    Like

    June 15, 2011 at 11:58

  58. Your photos are beautiful and peaceful!!

    Like

    June 15, 2011 at 20:36

  59. Maggie May

    I love those photos and the one with the fox seems to fit the mood.
    I think (apart from the lovely architecture and the beauty of the grave stones) there is the fascination of all the people who have gone before and the knowledge that we will one day be part of history. A bit spooky when you think about it. Makes you think of your own mortality.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

    Like

    June 16, 2011 at 00:14

  60. there is something sacred about them, a thin place that makes us feel connected to , with, about.

    Like

    June 16, 2011 at 01:50

  61. I like to wander in the graveyards, I would love to walk among these old stones and read the names out loud. I wonder if anyone hears..I like the peacefullness and the quiet comfortable silence. That Fox seems to like it there too:)

    Like

    June 16, 2011 at 03:06

  62. the fox is adorable! I like cemeteries too….

    Like

    June 17, 2011 at 03:56

  63. I enjoyed your photos here Fi. Grave yards are interesting places for me too. That church looked great! That fox seemed friendly enough too. We don’t have native wild animals here in NZ. Only birds and small lizards. – Dave

    Like

    June 18, 2011 at 10:26

  64. Always nice to say hello to Brer Fox–your post reminded me somehow of the Fox Koan, wherein the fox is a reincarnated spirit seeking release.

    Like

    June 18, 2011 at 13:41

  65. Oh, how I have enjoyed this post!! Loved every photo and your words!!
    I didn’t like graveyards when I was young. Modern graveyards I don’t like so much. But a historic one – I can walk for hours reading all the head stones., wondering about the people times… the people…

    Like

    June 20, 2011 at 17:55

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