Changing Landscapes in Urban British Churchyards

Mortality, Salvation, and Remembrance Motifs

Author(s): S. E. Thornbush and Mary J. Thornbush

Pp: 65-81 (17)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811441264120010008

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


This chapter presents the range of motifs found in churchyards and kirkyards based on still-upstanding headstones belonging to Anglican and Presbyterian parish sites. A range of motifs were discovered on what are referred to as ‘motifed’ headstones as those headstones that had a legible date of death and contained motifs. Table seriations were produced to convey these findings. Floral motifs were most popular, followed by urn and cross motifs – the cross motif was commonly introduced between 1800 and 1849 in England and Inverness. Motifs of mortality, such as urn, torch, and hourglass, were present in England on legible headstones, but were not evident on motifed headstones in Scotland.

Keywords: Death’s head, Floral, Mortality, Motifed headstones, Remembrance, Salvation, Symbols, Unmotifed headstones, Urn.

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