Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Fala Graveyard

It had been quite some time since I last visited a graveyard that I hadn't been to before but today was probably not the best day for such a visit as it was very windy and overcast. However the internal call was strong so I didn't let that deter me but once I got out of the car and climbed up to Fala church I did regret my decision somewhat as the wind literally ripped at my clothing and it was extremely difficult to hold the camera still to take pictures. Fala is a little place, just off the A68 and only just still in Midlothian. The church is still in service but not the graveyard.

This is quite small but it did have some splendid grave monuments. One very old one (dating from the 1700s I would guess) is disappearing fast into the ground but a deeply carved skull, resting on crossbones can still be seen as well as another skull or winged angel above it.  As per usual the graveyard has a fabulous view in all directions but it was also very high up and I had to seek some shelter from time to time from the wild weather.
 It definitely wasn't the best day to appreciate the amazing views in all directions from this graveyard but even so, they were very impressive.
There were some very old gravestones but on the whole the sign at the entrance warning of unstable gravestones proved to be very true and in the prevailing wind I wasn't that keen to get close to some of them. Specially the obelisks with urns on top looked a bit dicey. And many of the stones had fallen over or lost parts. But there was still plenty to see and admire. The above shield can be seen on one of the walls of the church over a grave monument for the Falconar family whose motto apparently was Vive et Vivas (Live and Let Live).
And the War Memorial was also quite unusual. It was tucked away between two yew trees that are threatening to overwhelm it. I'm not sure I would have noticed it were it not for the red poppies left there from the ceremony this past Sunday. At the bottom there is an engraving with crossed guns and swords.
There was one obelisk I did venture near to, as it had already lost its urn (you can see it in the picture at the very top of this post to the right) so there was no danger it would fall on my head. It belonged to the Taylor family and dates back to 1801. They must have been a farming family as around the sides of the pillar there was imagery of sheep (both ram and ewe) as seen above
as well as what looks like harrow and plough on the right. I'm not quite sure if the engraving on the left would be some sort of crop or whether it might be a symbolic image of the Tree of Life. It was beautifully done in any case.
On this dark and autumnal day the gravestones seemed to be standing guard, specially along the edge of the graveyard and when the sun appeared at last the view was a revelation. It didn't last long, though, before the clouds obscured it again from view.


Christine Moon said...

I always SO enjoy your graveyard jaunts. The carving and imagery is different from what I find here (also the graves are usually not nearly as old) and I love the vistas that you photograph. Thank you for another wonderful post -

Linda said...

Great posting. The graveyards are always a welcome adventure.

Linda said...

gorgeous pics despite the weather Frieda.That sky sure does look ominous but thankfully you stayed clothed, safe, and were able to share another exciting adventure with us!


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