I'm not a churchgoer, and I don't pretend to hold any religious views. But I find a graveyard or a cemetery, with their frank and open religious connections, irresistible. And not because I connect with those connections, but purely and simply because, as a photographer, I find there are few scenarios or locations offering such a wealth of texture, colour and interest as final resting places. I hope you'll understand when you glance at the pics below.
These photographs were taken at various times of the year at a handful of fine cemeteries, including Newtown Road Cemetery here in Newbury, where I live, and Chain Hill Cemetery, just down the road in Wantage. Newtown Road was closed to public wanderers for many years - for a start, it's full, and secondly for health and safety reasons (a dodgy cedar tree, apt to drop heavy branches on visitors). Another cemetery replaces it, Shaw Cemetery, but it has not a tenth of the character or beauty of Newtown Road.
I hope you enjoy my cemeterial obsession, to find out, scroll down and see the pics!
A frosty mid-winter day at Pangbourne Cemetery
Frozen cobwebs looking like fine lace
Old tap in Hungerford Cemetery
Ancient wooden siding at Coombe church
Fortuitous landing point of a chestnut
The tears of the angel
A completely delaminated gravestone
Please please please, no more rain
Cast-iron grave markers were common in Victorian times
Local visitors find grave ironwork to be quite accommodating
Three for the price of one
All that remains of an old wooden cross
We could go insane wondering ... why??
I'll admit that this is highly digital-darkroomised
That is the cedar tree which caused Newtown Road Cemetery to be closed for years
I doubt any babies would be christened with that name nowadays
Nature claimed a cross grave marker years ago, but has since been un-alived!
A wooden cross has lasted for many years
Another wooden one, aging very attractively