Seasons Of Life


Utley Cemetery is being reclaimed. A lot of slashing and clearing has revealed gravestones that have long been hidden beneath ivy and laurel, and others have emerged from the shadows of overhanging branches. Walking there now is more of a suburban stroll rather than an expedition into the wild, and I have mixed feelings about this.


It used to be a place of overgrown beauty and a haven for wildlife where I’d go to watch rabbits and squirrels and all kinds of birds, though admittedly on grey winter days it did have a gloomy quality that bordered on gothic horror. In some places this hasn’t changed much. In fact, stripping back the undergrowth has made things worse.


The Victorians who landscaped the place created terraces on the sloping hillside and planted cedar trees and yew, all of which a hundred and fifty years later have grown predictably massive and remind me of pictures I’ve seen of Ankor Wat. What did they think would happen? Did they intend it? I’d love to know.


Some of the tombs are actually small mausoleums, and have doors – one of which has a handle that’s also a knocker….


…and when I examined this more closely I could see that it’s polished and shiny with use. People grasp this, and knock on the door. What are they expecting?


Seasons is the current weekly photo challenge.

12 thoughts on “Seasons Of Life

    1. Actually I was thinking of you when I took these pictures because you do urban decay so well. You’d love this cemetery – though like me you’d probably have liked it even better whwn it was all wild and unkempt! 🙂

    1. I wrote this post twice, and lost the first draft when the app on my phone went berserk (I don’t often use a computer these days). But this was a blessing in disguise because I’d been struggling with it and it felt all wrong, and the second time I just remembered what I was thinking walking round and round amongst the tombs and my mind was full of questions. In fact I kept asking them out loud, (a dreadful habit, but I do check that there’s no one around to hear me). This place is mostly pretty deserted.

    1. I think this kind of cemetery may indeed be more common up here in the north – in mill towns like Keighley where I live – which were extremely prosperous in the nineteenth century and have since declined. (I’m a southerner myself). Glad you liked the pictures! I’ve been enjoying your blog – your paintings are just gorgeous.

      1. Thank you, loving your blog too, I need to make it send by email, otherwise I am rubbish at keeping track with everyone. Your drawings are superb, with a lovely style. Where were you from down here in the south?

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