A Must For All Graveyard Enthusiasts

The Historic Graves project has had the pleasure of working with Gerry Mullins on a number of our Graveyard recording workshops. Gerry has recently launched a new book Kilnahue Churchyard Gorey: A survey of the Iconography and Inscriptions. He is an expert on the iconography and symbols used on Irish grave memorials.Graveyards and memorial stones are rich in iconography and symbols whose meanings would have sung out to the people who commissioned and erected the stones. We have partly lost the ability to understand the symbols and what they represent. Consequently we can sometimes find the experience of walking around old graveyards as silent journeys through stories we are no longer able to read or hear. Read more »

Personal memories related to National Commemoration Day 2011 in Ireland

Today, the 10th of July 2011, is a National Day of Commemoration for servicemen and women who have died in wars or in service with the United Nations. Nearly every family in Ireland will have a story that relates to family members who died in service. My own great-grandfather is commemorated in Thiepval having died in WWI and I will tell his story here some other day.

For today I will relate a personal memory from 1980. We grew up in married quarters in Collin's Barracks on the NE side of Cork city. Married quarters consisted of four large accomodation blocks which held about thirty families from throughout Ireland but I seem to remember a decidedly Tipperary bias to the families origins, there were Burkes, Lonergans and Hogans. The families came together on a weekly basis for mass in what I think is called the Garrison Chapel while the broader community (servicemen and families) came together for Passing Out ceremonies, Christmas parties and less regularly, army funerals. Read more »

Memento Mori and Gravestone Memorials

 John Tierney of Historic Graves on a recent trip to Edinburgh in Scotalnd to talk at the Digital Futures Conference took the accompanying photograph in the graveyard known as the Kirk of CanongateMemento Mori are reminders of our mortality. They have come back into vogue recently and can be used to nudge people towards better behaviour. This idea of gentle persuasion or nudging has been developed by Thaler and Sunstein in their seminal popular psychology book called ‘Nudge’. Read more »

BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed - discussion on corporeality and memorialisation

Professor Laurie Taylor on BBC 4's Thinking Allowed is worth a weekly listen and today his discussion with Dr. Kate Woodthorpe delves deeply into modern, East London, attitudes to death, burial, bodies and cemeteries.



Hyperlocal journalism and historic graveyards in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare

As a hyperlocal heritage project we find it easy to spot top quality hyperlocal journalism  - our friends in Kilcullen gave us a write-up in their blog, as well as in the Kildare Nationalist. Des Travers led the way in historic graveyard recording in Kilcullen and it has been a pleasure to work with Des on their project. We have some high precision GPS tracks from Des' work and we will combine them with the historic memorial photographs previously recorded.

The Kilcullen community are an excellent example of the crucial role heritage plays in rural development; if a community values its past it will inevitably value its present members too - resulting in higher quality engagement with the challenges and opportunities of today.



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