Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I was going to show you the latest quilt but...

Given how many of you expressed a fondness for old cemeteries in the comments for the last post,I thought that I'd show you a bit more of the beautiful Castlemaine Cemetery at Campbell's Creek. I did toy with those hory old jokes about it being 'the dead centre of town' and 'folks are dying to get in there' but in the end decided not to inflict them on you. What? Oh yeah, I just did, didn't I?

Moving on:

It's been in continuous use since the heydays of the Victorian Goldrush of the 1850s and contains something in the order of 20.000 burials. Thousands of them are unmarked and while I love the peace and beauty of the place, I find it rather unsettling sometimes to walk near these hummocks that are the anonymous end of so many dreams of gold-fueled affluence.

It's a beautiful place to wander around on a fine day but you can't help but notice how many of the 'residents' died all too young. When we learned about the Goldrush at school no one ever mentioned the wives and children.

Anyway this is the gatehouse /office near the main driveway which is lined with a grouping of stones that must have been displaced during road works of some sort.

There's about 8000 Chinese buried here and this new memorial to them was unveiled in May: It's a bit bright, shiny and new at the moment and not quite in character with its surroundings.

This is a bit more like it ... fabulous pagoda shaped oven in the Chinese section was one of a pair for the burning of prayers and incense.

This is the Primitive Methodist bit and they must have been an impoverished bunch because the proportion of unmarked graves in this section is pretty high. That's my lot in the middle of the photo : six family members under the two headstones inside the rusted iron railing but look at all those others.

I'll need to take a bucket and spade with me the next time I go and no, I'm not planning on entering the time honoured profession of grave digger [ or body snatcher for that matter ] Certain disrespectful local bunnies have invaded the family plot so I have a couple of burrows to fill in.

Still and all, not such a bad place to end up


Knittymama said...

Wow, those are beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Some of my fondest memories are wandering around old cemetaries with my father, who is a huge Civil War buff and a great storyteller. I learned so much from him. Wish he wasn't such a luddite or I'd forward your post to him:-)

knitaly said...

my comment doesn't fit your subject today, however I want to answer your question about that open's made with a crochet hook and a hairpin staple, you can find tutorials and patterns here: Stitch Diva hairpin lace patterns
I don't know if and when I will be posting again on this subject!
I hope as soon as possible, I'm still making swatches!

Sheepish Annie said...

Looks like a good knitting spot! It is certainly peaceful.

How nice that you have some sense of history for the place and how many lives are represented there.

Rose Red said...

The sense of history you get at old cemetaries really can be overwhelming can't it - all those untold stories!
I always think Waverley cemetary in Sydney would be a great resting spot - looks right over the ocean, on a hill near Bondi beach - just amazing!

Mia said...

Very peaceful...

I've already got my "final" place picked out and arranged.. so high up on a very rural mountain in West Virginia that you feel like you can touch the sky.