Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Back to Temple

On Sunday I spotted the ideal blip for the challenge theme on the Blipfoto site this week. Only one problem, the challenge did not start till Monday (yesterday) so I could not use the photographs taken on Sunday. Only one solution, we had to return to Temple Church Graveyard and as it was a lovely day today with great sky for photography, we drove there this morning. This gravestone will be my contribution for the theme which is Father. The gravestone pictures the grave monument of the farmer at Outerston, John Craig, who died in 1742. He is shown in his best clothing and with his children. One is a son, called William, but I could not make out the other name. What a find for the theme!

Of course I had to take some more pictures of the old church as well, in the much better light today.

The gravestone underneath was positioned right against the remains of the old chapel wall so I could not see the other side but to me this one has a lot of Masonic symbols included in the form of geometric images. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a masonic expert and needless to say as I'm a woman, have never participated or observed masonic ceremonies but am fairly convinced these images must refer to the Freemasons.

I wandered some more around the graves, and decided the gravestone stone shown beneath is my favourite. You could not fit anymore symbols of mortality, the shortness of life and its fragility onto one gravestone if you tried. There is the skull and crossbones, but also a spade and shovel.

And shown at the top (as seen in the detail below) is an eggtimer, counting down the minutes, hours, days and years remaining to us. Another salutary reminder to get on and make the most of our lives!

Unusually on the same side of the stone is also the winged angel face that more commonly can be seen on the other side of gravestones i.e. the side without the skull and cross-bones. This angel's face is very similar on all the gravestones I've ever seen it on. To me it seems to be poking fun at the viewer! I'm quite prepared to accept, however, that this is my cynical brain jumping in! Maybe it's the fallen angel. I really must make a point of further investigation.


Christine said...

I love graveyards too - you meet such interesting people! Eddleston has some lovely stones, BTW - look for Andrew Nelson and Marianne Wallace just inside the gate, a true love story.
You may well be right about the masonic references, but could the occupant have been a carpenter? There were a number of "trades" symbols used on tombstones in those days - a nice touch to be remembered for your skills. What would you have as a quilter?!

Terri said...

This is such a fabulous pic of the gravestone! I love visiting church grave yards and have done so on and off since I was young. We don't have near the ones you have over there. And of course ours are much younger.
The photos of the old church remains are so good!

Ray Martin said...

Hi there, I was at a graveyard yesterday in Kingscourt, Co.Cavan, Ireland and the exact same symbols are on gravestones there. egg timer, spades in a cross, skull and bones, coffin. Interesting that the same symbols crop up in Scotland. Owen Martin, email omartin100@gmail.com


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