Cemeteries and graveyards, full of love, betrayal, tragic deaths, murder and suicide. What will you find?...

Sunday 23 September 2012

Cemetery Sunday - Gardens Of Rest

Braywick Cemetery in Berkshire opened in the July of 1953 and was set out as a lawn cemetery with specific sections for different religions; Church of England, Non Conformist, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and a section for the burial of babies and children.
The Gardens of Rest are for the interment of cremated remains. 
Cremation has been around for centuries, but fell out of favour in Great Britain when Christianity came to its shores.  However interest in cremation was reawakened in Victorian Britain when it became apparent that local cemeteries and churchyards were running out of space.  Cremation finally became legal in Great Britain in 1882.  On the 26th March 1885 he first 'legal' cremation took place, that of Mrs Jeannette Caroline Pickersgill at Woking Crematorium, Surrey England. 

The Hampshire Advertiser reported on Sunday 28th March 1885-
"Cremation In Surrey.
On Thursday morning the crematory erected at St. John's, Woking, Surrey, was made use of for the first time, the body reduced to ashes being that of Mrs, Pickersgill of Clarence-gate, London.  It had previously been subjected to an autopsy. The deceased was well know in literary and scientific circles, and expressly stipulated in her will that her body should be cremated.  With a view to this she had previously become a subscriber to the Cremation Society of England.  The cremation, which lasted one hour, is said to have been eminently successful from every point of view." 
Two further cremations took place that year.  Those of Mr Charles W. Carpenter in October and Mrs Grattan in December.  Ten cremations followed in 1886.  Today cremation is a popular alternative to full burial and there are many crematoriums around the country.










  1. a literal garden of rest is a lovely idea. a;though some of these memorial plaques will get lost in the overgrown flowers!

    1. It is surprisingly well maintained, but then the cememtery it is attached too is quite modern and still in use. However I suspect it will go the way of many other cemeteries over the years.

  2. I do like the cotoneaster that was planted for the little fellow.

    Some of these plates will not last very long, will they. And many of them seem to have been composed in haste, but then again, there is nothing new or original to be said, I suppose.

    I only realised on Sunday that I have definite preferences for memorials ... even down to the stone that is used. I prefer sandstone to granite, even though the sandstone deteriorates with age. Don't we all.

    1. Some are already starting to deteriorate. If I am honest, sometimes I find their decay beautiful.

      I suspect half of the plants that were planted in memory are no longer living. Trouble is I visited it at the wrong time of year when most things are dying back for the winter.

  3. Really interesting --- I haven't seen something like this before, but I think it's a nice idea to have the different plants (even if some don't survive for too long)

  4. thats nice! i wouldnt mind having a plant planted for me.. :)


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