Dead Tree from Cowgate Cemetery Nature Reserve Lower Pathway, Dover, Kent, UK

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Comments (2)

John Latter on September 28, 2009

The western, or upper, half of Cowgate Cemetery, Dover, UK, is a lot more 'congested' than this photo indicates and landmarks such as The Dead Tree are useful for getting your bearings, particularly if something interesting is found that requires coming back on another day..

Behind The Dead Tree is the flint western boundary wall in front of which, between The Dead Tree and the large tree on the left, is a single square white memorial which is mentioned in the caption to the Family Vaults (South) photo.

This memorial acts as a marker to denote the southern limit of the family vaults set beneath the western boundary wall. Part of the reddish brickwork of the family vaults, topped by grey stone capping, can be seen towards the bottom right of The Dead Tree.

The photo was taken from the lower pathway (see below) with the lighter area of the southern traverse pathway visible towards the bottom left.

Five images of Cowgate Cemetery were uploaded in 2007. This latest batch were all taken on Friday, 18th of September, or Monday, 21st of September, 2009 (see 'Extra Information' under Photo Details in the right-hand column for camera details).

Click on the Cowgate tag to see more photos (and/or watch the YouTube video linked to below).

Standard Info

The Victorian Cowgate Cemetery is an approximate rectangle whose maximum dimensions are 150 x 70 yards. It slopes uphill from east to west with the western boundary wall (the longest) set into the lower slopes of the Western Heights.

There are three long pathways running north to south: western, middle, and eastern. To reflect the fact the cemetery is on a slope, these will be correspondingly referred to as the upper, the middle, and lower.

From east to west there are the five shorter pathways: north boundary, northern traverse, central traverse, southern traverse, and an irregular southern boundary pathway. For simplicity (although it might not seem so!), most positional references references will be given in terms of the three traversing pathways.

In other words, the burial areas of the cemetery are set out in a 4 v 2 grid pattern with a row of family vaults running along the upper boundary wall.

Abridged extracts from the plaque just inside the main (north) entrance:

Dover's Cowgate Cemetery is named after the medieval gate which allowed townspeople to graze their animals on the lower slopes of the Western Heights.

The land, over two acres in extent, was donated by William Mowll and consecrated in 1835 by the Archbishop of Canterbury (William Howley) as an extension to the Parish churchyard (St Mary`s).

The layout of the cemetery is attributed to Stephen Geary, the architect who designed London's Highgate Cemetery.

In 1990 the Wildlife Conservation Community Program (WCCP) discovered a small population of the Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus) living in the cemetery. The Garden Dormouse is not 'officially' recorded as living in Britain.

Click to see a YouTube Video of Dover`s Victorian Cowgate Cemetery (part of which shows the exterior of the 'empty coffin' vault).

For more information see The Dover Society - Cowgate Cemetery Project and Cowgate Cemetery Volunteers.

John Latter / Jorolat

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John Latter on October 18, 2009

Click to see the main Dead Tree photo.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on September 26, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/09/21 11:41:31
    • Exposure: 0.010s (1/100)
    • Focal Length: 35.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/6.300
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash