Newtown Road Cemetery, Newbury

Quite near to the centre of this busy little town in Berkshire lies Newtown Road Cemetery, Newbury's original cemetery.

Nowadays this cemetery is no longer used for new interments, having been replaced by the newer and very much less attractive Shaw Cemetery, two or three miles away. Newtown Road cemetery was closed to the public for a number of years, due to very silly Health and Safety concerns, amounting to no more than the fact that a large cedar tree slap bang in the middle of the cemetery had dropped a sizeable branch. The closure was annoying to many people as the solution was simple: make the tree safe and let us enjoy the peace, quiet and beauty of the place!

I visited the cemetery right at the start of November, on a gloriously sunny and impossibly mild day; the grass had recently been mown. There's a policy of leaving large parts of the cemetery quite wild and unkempt, for the benefit of birds, bees and whatever else. Indeed, at least one of the old graves sports a very rare lichen and at the appropriate time of the year numerous odd fungi are in evidence. Also to be seen here are several examples of vault markers, small slabs of stone set into the foot of the grave marker announcing the entrance to xxx's vault. I've never seen these anywhere else. I've put a few pictures of vault markers at the end of this set.

Pentax K-1. 100mm and 50mm lenses. ISO 500 and 640.

An unusual family plot arrangement, in which metal plates were slid down between concrete pillars, now sadly broken.
I once bought a house from a Toomer! It's a well-known Newbury family which used to run The House of Toomer, a successful hardware shop and ironmongers in town.

A memorial unusually mounted on the wall

Not much left of this one

Lichen doesn't get much oranger than this

The lead thieves, about which I've written elsewhere, have been busy here

Were you aware that moss loves letters?

The final pictures, below, are of vault markers