Lladaff Cathedral Site VisitPosted: January 27, 2015
Today our aim at the cathedral was to take photographs and do some drawings as initial research into our chosen topic. I’ve definitely decided on doing ‘the hidden city’ now because I feel like there is a lot can do with it and I have a lot of ideas. Before leaving I knew I wanted to predominantly visit the grave yard beside the cathedral because I am interested in the history and the stories it may hold.
Walking around, you see it as a collective: a graveyard. However by taking the time to stop and read the carvings and to take notice of each grave, I was able to find things out about the individual person: their name, date of birth, age when they passed away, wealth, if they had any family etc.
However there are also questions which still go unanswered and cannot just be found out from reading their gravestone, for example: how did they die? Did they have a happy life? Who did they leave behind?
I was also interested in looking at shared graves with husbands and wives or children.
This grave in particular had the most gifts and flower around it out of the ones I saw, which was quite uplifting to see, considering how old it is. Most of the other graves were bare. Clearly someone is still looking after the area and visiting often.
This was another one, a bit further into the graveyard. Surrounded by other graves which are crumbling and are over grown with ivy, this one stands out. It is newer than the surrounding graves, but still old enough to have aged more than it looks. This again suggests to me that someone is still around to look after and maintain it, in order for it not to become hidden amongst the others.
The text reads:
“In loving memory of Alan Standish Thompson
Who died Nov 18th 1908
Aged 18 months
Safe with Jesus”
Are the family more likely to still look after the grave because of how young he was when he died?
It is a surprisingly large grave for a child who had such a short life. Was the family well off? Was he they’re first son? Did they have any more children?
Why is no one looking after the others? Have the family moved away? If not, do they even know they’re there?
And this one seems to have been long forgotten, left to crumble and fall over. It lies on the floor abandoned.
Again, do the family know it is there? Have they moved away? Is there even any family left?
This gravestone really stood out to me: it is from 2013 and all the surrounding ones are from around 100 years before it. The difference is clear: it is clean; shiny; cared for and someone had recently put flowers beside it. What is the hidden story? This was the most recent grave I could find. Why did he want to be put in such an old graveyard, amongst such decayed stones? Is it a family plot? Did the area mean something special to him? Was it even his choice?
I found this grave particularly interesting. I was attracted to it because of its size and power, and I could tell straight away that the plot belongs to a very wealthy family with such a grand gravestone.
Here it reads:
“To the blessed memory of
Charlies Philip Marment
of Petherton House Llandaff
who dies June 11th 1910
and of the said
Charles Philip Marment
who died March 31st 1942
And on the back of the stone, it says:
Second Wife of
Charles Philip Marment
Died 8th May 1958”
This really interested me that his first wife had died 32 years before he did and he had then clearly married again (how long in between?). He then died 16 years before his second wife.
But what amazed me was that she was just put at the back of the grave, hidden to anyone only walking past the front. It is nice to see that he was buried with his first wife, ‘reunited’ almost, maybe they bought the plot together? However I was surprised at the placement of ‘Constance’. She gets no ‘loving/blessed memory’, it is just plain, straight to the point. Stating the facts and nothing more.
She died last: did she request for it to be like that? Or was it his choice? Was she lucky to even be put onto this particular gravestone at all?
These unanswered (and possible unanswerable) questions are something that I am really interested in and can also be brought into street photography and drawings, because without talking to the subject, you will never even know they’re name.