Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jesmond Old Cemetery

I frequently walk through Jesmond Old Cemetery on my way to the nearest Metro station. Partly because I find it easy to pray here as I walk and because, like all old cemeteries I have ever visited, it exudes life.

In all seasons Jesmond Old Cemetery has a character that defies its position sandwiched between two busy roads, arteries to the city of Newcastle just to the south. In winter it has pattern and grandeur, in Spring life and movement, in Summer deep shadows and visiting song birds. It is cared for but with intelligence; a brisk official policy capable of wrecking the place was carried only so far; grave stones that threatened to topple have been carefully laid flat or at an angel to the ground. Unlike some other places, the more notorious policy of complete clearance has not prevailed here. There is a group known as the Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery that undertakes some path clearing and tidying, as well as leading tours around the cemetery and historical recording, but nothing is over done. As it has been said, Jesmond Old Cemetery is "a fine old place".

The Cemetery is distinguished by some locally famous people whose last resting place it is, including author, playwright and feminist Julia Darling.

The Cemetery gates are Listed structures designed by John Dobson. The rest, I hope speaks for itself.

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