NORFOLK-L ArchivesArchiver > NORFOLK > 2002-01 > 1010472263
From: "Bert Arter" <>
Subject: Re: Churchyard gravestones
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 06:44:23 -0000
References: <B85E477C.EF3%C.Hoar@tesco.net> <005101c19701$c3462480$02e135d1@pavilion> <010801c197b9$d603c600$c4a3b6c3@langley>
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Following on the recent thread, I have visited most graveyards in the
western half of Norfolk and comment as follows. There are over 700 parish
churches in Norfolk.
Generally only one in ten stones (10%) or less survive hence ones chances of
finding graves of ancestors is poor. It is rare to find a stone existing
from the 1700`s and, as Stan Langley says, none exist from the 1600`s.
Many of these from the 1700`s and 1800`s are totally unreadable due to
deterioration of the stone itself or attack by lichens, mosses and Ivy.
Others have fallen over, sunk into the ground, as the coffins below have
collapsed, or have been vandalised. Unthinking searchers unintentionally
attack stones with scrapers to reveal writing only to destroy the tablet
In some instances church staff clear the stones away, usually to the
perimenter wall, to allow the motor driven grass cutters freedom. In other
cases areas of graveyards are left uncut for wildlife to inhabit and stones
are not reachable unless one wishes to wade through 1.2 metre high stinging
nettles or brambles.
Having said all that it is still quite a thrill when the stone you are
looking for appears.
Regards, Bert Arter, Stibbard, Norfolk, England.
Researching ARTER, BIRD, BONE, BUNN, CRASKE, CUSHING, GAGE, LANGLEY and many