I love graveyards, or cemeteries as I prefer to call them, Graveyard is a cold and grim name for them, the word Graveyard is like scrapyard, cold and wrong, well for now anyway, as no doubt throughout this blog I will contradict myself by writing Graveyard or even when speaking about it, will call it Graveyard. In fact now I come to mention it, a wee photowalk around a scrapyard could be equally awesome, added to my bucket list.
Anyway, I do love cemeteries, they are serene and tranquil. Find the correct one and they are also haunting, who doesn’t like the hairs on their neck standing up :). I have an attachment to cemeteries, maybe it’s because I know that I may end up in one sooner or later (hopefully much later). No matter, I have always had a special relationship with them, I find them incredibly relaxing (freak 🙂 ), and in my teenage years my friends and I used to hang around the cemetery in Old Monkland, another location added to my bucket list.
We were never disrespectful and were more like guardians of it, we never caused carnage, or vandalized it, never walked across graves (unless the police were in pursuit of course). Wee hung around the bothy, the place the grave diggers worked and to be fair one of our friends Dad’s was the care taker and lived in the actual cemetery (how cool). Occasionally we would frequent the very cool Old Monkland church, one of the oldest churches in Britain. Now I defo need to walk around this place, the history of this church is paramount to my very existence and all those who live in Monklands. In fact to this very day I still Live in Old Monkland. I am glad I am writing this wee blog as it has inspired me to pay my old stomping ground literally 5 minutes from me another wee visit, and also say hello to family members buried here.
Larbert Old Church
My blog today isn’t about Old Monkland cemetery though, it’s about another equally cool one I heard a colleague speak of based in the grounds of Larbert Old Church, Falkirk. It was as usual a dull and damp day, the sky pale grey, I was in two minds whether to go or not, as the rain was threatening to come down like a Scottish waterfall, but my curiosity took over. I had exactly an hour and I needed to be away from my usual hustle and bustle of the busy city and town centers, so this was ideal. I needed some quiet time, it had been a hectic day.
I am glad I went, as soon as you walk through the gates of the very old grave yard a mental paradise awaits, a fraction of the size of Old Monkland, but wow, graves dating back to the 1700s, and earlier. I didn’t know anything about this cemetery, mainly because I live about 30 miles or so away from this area, but it didn’t take me long to get a flavour for this historic place, reminders of wars, a strong connection to the sea, and it’s mighty mark on Industry. I was shooting what I saw with no specific aim. I need to return now I have researched the place and some of the amazing people who now reside here for eternity.
Obviously the thing that struck me about this place was that long ago, it seems money resided here, meaning that it must have at one point been a very affluent area.
Larbert (Scottish Gaelic: Lèirbert/Leth-pheairt, Scots: Lairbert) is a small town in the Falkirk council area of Scotland. The town lies in the Forth Valley above the River Carron which flows from the west. Larbert is 3 miles (4.8 km) from the shoreline of the Firth of Forth and 2.5 miles (4.0 km) northwest of Falkirk, the main town in the area. The village of Stenhousemuir lies directly east of Larbert, with both settlements being contiguous and sharing certain public amenities with one another.
In medieval times, the Larbert area was heavily forested, but this was cleared and gave rise to much of the agricultural land which surrounds the town. The coming of industry and especially the arrival in the 1840s of the Scottish Central Railway, which passes through the village, provided a base for economic growth. From the late 18th century until the mid-20th century heavy industry, such as boilermaking, casting and manufacturing underpinned the economy of Larbert. The Victorian era also saw the opening of the Stirling District Lunatic Asylum at Bellsdyke and Scottish National Institution for Children on the Stenhouse Estate. This made Larbert central in providing care, both locally and nationally.
Although the traditional economic base of Larbert dwindled with the decline of heavy industry, it has latterly experienced considerable growth as a commuter town.
For now I will leave some links for anyone who wants to find out more about the impressive church, the area and surrounding cemetary and will show my results of Photographing Graveyards.