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.