Saturday, 22 December 2007
View looking towards the Carnegie Library. Tombstones in foreground and on immediate left are as found in situ. Some were very fragile, and so were surrounded by a retaining wall, and recovered, as as they dried in the sun, the lettering flaked off. Stones of Purbeck Marble have weathered very badly, and are prone to delaminating. A couple of tombs were carved in soft Bath Stone, but these seem to have held up quite well, as has the Portland. Portland Stone was mainly used for the Box Tombs, which are similar to those from the same time period found at Bunhill Fields in the City of London. Only one tomb was found made of slate - the stone was found in six pieces, scattered in different parts of the cemetery, but when pieced together, all the pieces fit perfectly, and the lettering was otherwise well preserved. Shilstone records that when the great trees overlooking the cemetery were cut down in the 1930's, the fell across the tombs, damaging them greatly.