On one side of the photo are a cluster of tall vibrant plants basking in a pool of autumn sunshine, and on the other, rows of tired headstones stretch back into a gathering darkness.
In the background, above the 'dip' in the row of plants, there are several patches of a "man-made" green colour - perhaps only noticeable in higher resolution versions of this image - caused by the fences and sheds of Pilot`s Meadow Allotments.
These allotments lie beyond Cowgate Cemetery's southern boundary wall and in 1852, when Pilot's Meadow was still only a meadow, Charles Dickens spent some time there while he planned chapter outlines of Bleak House.
The photo was taken looking south towards The Dead Tree, part of which is visible above and behind the large foreground headstone, just right of centre.
Five images of Cowgate Cemetery Nature Reserve were uploaded in 2007. This latest batch were all taken in September and October, 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).
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, middle, and lower pathways.
From east to west there are the five shorter pathways: northern 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
Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town
This is the Images of Dover website.
My Facebook | My Videos of Dover (YouTube) | Evopsychology.com
My Twitter | My Google Reader | My Flickr
Sign up to comment.
Sign in if you already did it.
Photo taken in Dover, Kent, UK
Misplaced? Suggest new location