A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a stele or marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. They are traditional for burials in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions, among others. In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer, but they may contain pieces of funerary art, especially details in stone relief. In many parts of Europe insetting a photograph of the deceased in a frame is very common.
The stele (plural stelae), as it is called in an archaeological context, is one of the oldest forms of funerary art. Originally, a tombstone was the stone lid of a stone coffin, or the coffin itself, and a gravestone was the stone slab that was laid over a grave. Now all three terms are also used for markers placed at the head of the grave. Some graves in the 18th century also contained footstones to demarcate the foot end of the grave. This sometimes developed into full kerb sets that marked the whole perimeter of the grave. Footstones were rarely annotated with more than the deceased's initials and year of death, and sometimes a memorial mason and plot reference number. Many cemeteries and churchyards have removed those extra stones to ease grass cutting by machine mower. Note that in some UK cemeteries the principal, and indeed only, marker is placed at the foot of the grave.
Owing to soil movement and Downhill creep on gentle slopes, older headstones and footstones can often be found tilted at an angle. Over time, this movement can result in the stones being sited several metres away from their original location.
Graves, and any related memorials are a focus for mourning and remembrance. The names of relatives are often added to a gravestone over the years, so that one marker may chronicle the passing of an entire family spread over decades. Since gravestones and a plot in a cemetery or churchyard cost money, they are also a symbol of wealth or prominence in a community. Some gravestones were even commissioned and erected to their own memory by people who were still living, as a testament to their wealth and status. In a Christian context, the very wealthy often erected elaborate memorials within churches rather than having simply external gravestones. Crematoria frequently offer similar alternatives to families who do not have a grave to mark, but who want a focus for their mourning and for remembrance. Carved or cast commemorative plaques inside the crematorium for example may serve this purpose.
A cemetery may follow national codes of practice or independently prescribe the size and use of certain materials, especially in a conservation area. Some may limit the placing of a wooden memorial to six months after burial, after which a more permanent memorial must be placed. Others may require stones of a certain shape or position to facilitate grass-cutting. Headstones of granite, marble and other kinds of stone are usually created, installed, and repaired by monumental masons. Cemeteries require regular inspection and maintenance, as stones may settle, topple and, on rare occasions, fall and injure people; or graves may simply become overgrown and their markers lost or vandalised.
Restoration is a specialized job for a monumental mason. Even overgrowth removal requires care to avoid damaging the carving. For example, ivy should only be cut at the base roots and left to naturally die off, never pulled off forcefully. Many materials have been used as markers.
Markers sometimes bear inscriptions. The information on the headstone generally includes the name of the deceased and their date of birth and death. Such information can be useful to genealogists and local historians. Larger cemeteries may require a discreet reference code as well to help accurately fix the location for maintenance. The cemetery owner, church, or, as in the UK, national guidelines might encourage the use of 'tasteful' and accurate wording in inscriptions. The placement of inscriptions is traditionally placed on the forward-facing side of the memorial but can also be seen in some cases on the reverse and around the edges of the stone itself. Some families request that an inscription be made on the portion of the memorial that will be underground.
In addition, some gravestones also bear epitaphs in praise of the deceased or quotations from religious texts, such as "requiescat in pace". In a few instances the inscription is in the form of a plea, admonishment, testament of faith, claim to fame or even a curse—William Shakespeare's inscription famously declares
Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosèd here.
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
I heard that mighty Jamshed the King
Carved on a stone near a spring of water these words:
"Many—like us—sat here by this spring
And left this life in the blink of an eye.
We captured the whole world through our courage and strength,
Yet could take nothing with us to our grave."
Or a simpler warning of inevitability of death:
Remember me as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so you will be,
Prepare for death and follow me.
Headstone engravers faced their own "year 2000 problem" when still-living people, as many as 500,000 in the United States alone, pre-purchased headstones with pre-carved death years beginning with 19–.
Bas-relief carvings of a religious nature or of a profile of the deceased can be seen on some headstones, especially up to the 19th century. Since the invention of photography, a gravestone might include a framed photograph or cameo of the deceased; photographic images or artwork (showing the loved one, or some other image relevant to their life, interests or achievements) are sometimes now engraved onto smooth stone surfaces.
Some headstones use lettering made of white metal fixed into the stone, which is easy to read but can be damaged by ivy or frost. Deep carvings on a hard-wearing stone may weather many centuries exposed in graveyards and still remain legible. Those fixed on the inside of churches, on the walls, or on the floor (often as near the altar as possible) may last much longer: such memorials were often embellished with a monumental brass.
The choice of language and/or script on gravestones has been studied by sociolinguists as indicators of language choices and language loyalty. For example, by studying cemeteries used by immigrant communities, some languages were found to be carved "long after the language ceased to be spoken" in the communities. In other cases, a language used in the inscription may indicate a religious affiliation.
Marker inscriptions have also been used for political purposes, such as the grave marker installed in January 2008 at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky by Mathew Prescott, an employee of PETA. The grave marker is located near the grave of KFC founder Harland Sanders and bears the acrostic message "KFC tortures birds". The group placed its grave marker to promote its contention that KFC is cruel to chickens.
Gravestones may be simple upright slabs with semi-circular, rounded, gabled, pointed-arched, pedimental, square or other shaped tops. During the 18th century, they were often decorated with memento mori (symbolic reminders of death) such as skulls or winged skulls, winged cherub heads, heavenly crowns, urns or the picks and shovels of the gravedigger. Somewhat unusual were more elaborate allegorical figures, such as Old Father Time, or emblems of trade or status, or even some event from the life of the deceased (particularly how they died). Large tomb chests, false sarcophagi as the actual remains were in the earth below, or smaller coped chests were commonly used by the gentry as a means of commemorating a number of members of the same family. In the 19th century, headstone styles became very diverse, ranging from plain to highly decorated, and often using crosses on a base or other shapes differing from the traditional slab. They might be replaced by more elaborately carved markers, such as crosses or angels. Simple curb surrounds, sometimes filled with glass chippings, were popular during the mid-20th century.
Islamic headstones are traditionally more a rectangular upright shaft, often topped with a carved topknot symbolic of a turban; but in Western countries more local styles are often used.
Some form of simple decoration may be employed. Special emblems on tombstones indicate several familiar themes in many faiths. Some examples are:
Greek letters might also be used:
Over time a headstone may settle or its fixings weaken. After several instances where unstable stones have fallen in dangerous circumstances, some burial authorities "topple test" headstones by firm pressure to check for stability. They may then tape them off or flatten them.
This procedure has proved controversial in the UK, where an authority's duty of care to protect visitors is complicated because it often does not have any ownership rights over the dangerous marker. Authorities that have knocked over stones during testing or have unilaterally lifted and laid flat any potentially hazardous stones have been criticised, after grieving relatives have discovered that their relative's marker has been moved. Since 2007 Consistory Court and local authority guidance now restricts the force used in a topple test and requires an authority to consult relatives before moving a stone. In addition, before laying a stone flat, it must be recorded for posterity.
The 2018 Harrow London Borough Council election took place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of Harrow London Borough Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections in England. The Conservatives had hoped to win control of the council from Labour, but Labour emerged with an increased number of seats and kept their majority. The Liberal Democrats lost their only seat in the borough. The Conservatives lost seats to Labour, but maintained their total of 28 by winning two seats that had been held by independents.Church of the Holy Trinity with St Edmund
The Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity with St Edmund is a church on Wellington Hill, Horfield in Bristol, England. It has been designated as a grade II* listed building.The west tower dates from the 15th century. It contains five bells, four of which were cast by the Bilbie family of Chew Stoke in 1773. The nave and aisles by William Butterfield date from 1847, and the chancel and crossing tower are dated 1893. The transepts were added in 1913 and 1929. The organ, which was built by Palmers of Bristol, was installed in 1885.The church has associated with the Oxford Movement since the early 19th century. The parish and benefice fall within the Diocese of Bristol.
In 1877 the graveyard became the resting place of Newport Chartist John Frost. Although Frost's grave site was lost for many years, in the 1980s a new headstone was created and re-erected on the site, with the aid of a grant from Newport City Council. The new headstone was unveiled by Neil Kinnock.There are also war graves of 17 British and two Canadian service personnel of World War I, and a Royal Navy sailor of World War II.Footstone
A footstone is a marker at the foot of a grave. The footstone lies opposite the headstone, which is usually the primary grave marker. As indicated, these markers are usually stone, though modern footstones are often made of concrete, or some metal (usually bronze) in the form of a cast plate, which may or may not be set in concrete. The footstone may simply mark the foot of a grave, serving as a boundary marker for the grave plot, but more often provide additional information about the interred decedent. A footstone usually contains the initials of the person whose grave it marks.Harrow, London
Harrow () is a large suburban town in northwest London, England. It is within the London Borough of Harrow. It lies 10.5 miles (16.9 km) northwest of Charing Cross.
Historically in Middlesex, Harrow was a municipal borough before it became a part of Greater London in 1965. Harrow is home to a large University of Westminster campus, Harrow School and Harrow High School.
Harrow-on-the-Hill is a conservation area with listed buildings of Georgian architecture. The area, which also includes Headstone North, Roxeth, Marlborough, Greenhill, Headstone South and West Harrow electoral wards, had a population of 80,213 at the 2011 census.Harrow Museum
The Harrow Museum, known as the Headstone Manor & Museum, is the local history museum for the London Borough of Harrow in northwest London, England.Headstone, London
Headstone is a residential area in London, England, north-west of Harrow and immediately north of North Harrow.
A green buffer exists between Headstone and North Harrow that consists of a moated manor site and football and rugby pitches, making the area mostly separate from North Harrow. However, there are some points of flux and overlap. To the west the area abuts the large and predominantly agricultural pasture of Pinner Park.Headstone Lane railway station
Headstone Lane is a railway station near Headstone, in the London Borough of Harrow. The station is in Travelcard Zone 5.Headstone Manor
Headstone Manor is part of Harrow Museum now known as Headstone Manor & Museum. It is a 14th-century moated manor house, formerly the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is located in Headstone, in the London Borough of Harrow.
Built in circa 1310, the moated Manor House known as Headstone Manor is the earliest surviving timber framed building in Middlesex. Described as ‘one of the most interesting domestic complexes in the whole country’, the fabric of Headstone Manor contains examples of high quality work dating from the 14th, 17th and 18th centuries. Headstone Manor is a Grade I listed building.
Headstone Manor is surrounded by the only surviving filled moat in Middlesex. The moat is contemporary in date to the oldest part of the building, and was constructed as a status symbol to reflect the wealth of the manor’s owner.
The land on which Headstone Manor stands is recorded to have belonged to Wulfred, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 825AD. The construction of Headstone Manor began in c.1310, as revealed by the tree-ring dating of the building’s oldest timbers. John Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, purchased even more land around the site in 1344 and used the site as his main residence in Middlesex. Headstone Manor remained in the ownership of the Archbishops of Canterbury until 1546, when it was surrendered to Henry VIII. Soon after, Henry VIII sold it to one of his court favourites, and it remained in private ownership for almost four centuries.
The numerous owners of Headstone Manor made dramatic extensions and changes to the building, such as adding extra wings and changing the appearance of the interior and exterior of the house. Examples of this include the panelling of the great hall in 1631, and the addition of a fashionable brick façade in the 1770s which gives Headstone Manor the appearance it has today.
Over time, Headstone Manor fell into a state of disrepair, and much of its surrounding land was sold off. In 1925 Hendon Rural District Council bought the site. It then passed into the control of the London Borough of Harrow after local government reorganisation. After years of increasing dilapidation, the decision was made to turn the site into the home of Harrow Museum, which officially opened in 1986. The first stage of restoration at Headstone Manor began in the autumn of 2004, focusing on the oldest parts of the building. Due to the delicate nature of this historic site, only tours are available in order to view Headstone Manor.The Manor has a timber framed aisled hall, and the building is Grade I listed. The building was extensively restored in 2004-5. The Manor has records dating to 825AD, and the estate is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The site is currently undergoing further restorations funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. This will see Headstone Manor become a museum on the history of the site itself and Harrow more generally.Lafayette, Indiana
Lafayette ( LAH-fee-ET, LAF-ee-ET) is a city in and the county seat of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, United States, located 63 miles (101 km) northwest of Indianapolis and 105 miles (169 km) southeast of Chicago. West Lafayette, on the other side of the Wabash River, is home to Purdue University, which contributes significantly to both communities. Together, Lafayette and West Lafayette form the core of the Lafayette, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the 2010 United States Census, the population of Lafayette was 67,140, roughly a 19% increase from 56,397 in 2000. Meanwhile, the 2010 U.S. Census pegged the year-round (excluding Purdue University students) population of West Lafayette at 29,596 and the Tippecanoe County population at 172,780.Lafayette was founded in 1825 on the south/east bank of the Wabash River near where the river becomes impassable for riverboats upstream, though a French fort and trading post had existed since 1717 on the opposite bank and three miles downstream. It was named for the French general Marquis de Lafayette, a revolutionary war hero.List of districts in the London Borough of Harrow
This is a list of districts in the London Borough of Harrow.
The whole borough is covered within the HA postcode area, except one small residential street in Queensbury, Honey Close, which is NW9 thus the NW postcode area.Monsal Dale
Monsal Dale is a valley in the Peak District of Derbyshire in England. In geological history this area of Derbyshire was long ago under water, and is formed from a subsequent uplift of resultant sedimentary deposits, known as the Derbyshire Dome. Overlying sandstones and shales have been eroded, exposing the underlying limestone which forms the basis of the area today, which is consequently known as the White Peak. Monsal Dale is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) (1) and part of a Europe wide network called Natura 2000.Monsal Trail
The Monsal Trail is a cycling, horse riding and walking trail in the Derbyshire Peak District. It was constructed from a section of the former Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway, built by the Midland Railway in 1863 to link Manchester with London, which closed in 1968. The Monsal Trail is about 8.5 miles in length and opened in 1981. It starts at the Topley Pike junction in Wye Dale, three miles East of Buxton, and runs to Coombs Viaduct, one mile South-East of Bakewell. It follows the valley of the River Wye. The trail passes through Blackwell Mill, Millers Dale, Cressbrook, Monsal Dale, Great Longstone, Hassop and Bakewell. The trail has numerous landmarks including Headstone Viaduct, Cressbrook Mill, Litton Mill, Hassop railway station and passes through six tunnels.North Harrow
North Harrow is a suburban area of North West London, situated north-west of central Harrow within the London Borough of Harrow. Its residential roads have expanded from North Harrow tube station, a station on the Metropolitan line of the London Underground which is one stop away from Harrow-on-the-Hill station in Harrow town centre. Before North Harrow tube station was opened and the suburb developed, the area was originally known as Hooking Green.
North Harrow's statistics exceed the London average in terms of safety, affluence and quality of education of its schools. This is a result of use and predominantly low-rise, low-density, high floor space housing; there is substantial parkland in the neighbourhood such as on all sides of Headstone Manor, Yeading Brook Open Space and miniature railway and sports ground in adjoining pasture grasslands of Pinner Park, contrasted with diverse amenities, particularly in the areas of the tube station, Imperial Drive and along Pinner Road, including a post office, Tesco Express, a selection of restaurants, take-aways & cafés and independent specialist shops. The area is also served by North Harrow Library.North Harrow is part of Harrow West along with West Harrow and central Harrow, a parliamentary constituency represented by Labour Party (UK) MP Gareth Thomas.
About 800m north of the tube line is a 14th-century moated manor house, Headstone Manor, which serves to support the area's excellence in sport with public grounds on all sides as well as Harrow Museum and Heritage Centre, which is based in Headstone Manor Recreation Ground. The Heritage Centre chronicles Harrow’s historical past and runs many special events and exhibitions throughout the year.Parks and open spaces in the London Borough of Harrow
The London Borough of Harrow is one of the northern outer London boroughs: as such much of the Metropolitan Green Belt land is within the Borough boundaries. Parks and open spaces range from the large area around Harrow-on-the-Hill to the smaller gardens and recreation grounds; there are also a number of spaces taken up with golf courses. It has been suggested that Harrow is continuously losing its green space and trees.The main areas of open space are:
Bentley Priory, Stanmore: 165 acres (66ha) open space; Site of Special Scientific Interest and Local Nature Reserve
Canons Park: 45 acres (18ha) 18th century parkland
Grim's Dyke Open Space, Harrow Weald
Harrow Weald Common, Harrow Weald
Headstone Manor Recreation Park: 57 acres (230,000 m2) including the Museum and Headstone Manor & Bessborough Cricket Club
Pinner Park Farm tenant dairy farmers Hall & Sons: total 230 acres (0.93 km2)
Stanmore Common: 120 acres (48ha); Local Nature Reserve
Stanmore Country Park: 77.5 acres (31ha); Local Nature Reserve
Streamside Reservation, alongside Yeading Brook, PinnerSt Chad's Church, Shrewsbury
St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury occupies a prominent position in the county town of Shropshire. The current church building was built in 1792, and with its distinctive round shape and high tower it is a well-known landmark in the town. It faces The Quarry area of parkland, which slopes down to the River Severn. The church is a Grade I listed building.The motto of the church is "open doors, open hearts, and open minds". This indicates the aspiration of the church to be a welcoming church, involved in the community, and on a collective journey seeking after God.Music is a strong tradition at St Chad's. The church has a robed choir which leads the music at many of the services. The church organ is a large three-manual pipe organ, built by Norman and Beard in 1904 and restored by Nicholsons in 1963 and Harrison & Harrison in 1985 and more recently in 2011. The church hosts lunchtime organ recitals and other concerts.
Charles Darwin was baptised in St Chad's church in 1809, and as a young boy attended the church with his mother Susannah.The headstone prop of Ebenezer Scrooge (played by George C. Scott) that was used in the 1984 film A Christmas Carol is still present in the now-disused churchyard. According to the Shrewsbury Town Crier, Martin Wood, the headstone is not a "prop" but an actual period headstone, on which the original inscription had deteriorated to the point that the movie production people asked the church if they could use it and inscribe the "Ebenezer Scrooge" words on it. You can still see some of the original inscription on the bottom part of the stone. Among those actually buried in the churchyard was Shrewsbury architect Edward Haycock, Sr.In 2010, the church became a member of the Greater Churches Group.The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book is a young adult fantasy novel by the English author Neil Gaiman, simultaneously published in Britain and America in 2008. The Graveyard Book traces the story of the boy Nobody "Bod" Owens who is adopted and raised by the supernatural occupants of a graveyard after his family is brutally murdered.
Gaiman won both the British Carnegie Medal and the American Newbery Medal recognizing the year's best children's books, the first time both named the same work. The Graveyard Book also won the annual Hugo Award for Best Novel from the World Science Fiction Convention and Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book selected by Locus magazine subscribers.Chris Riddell, who illustrated the British children's edition, made the Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist. It was the first time in the award's 30-year history that one book made both the author and illustrator shortlists.Triple Feature
Triple Feature is a collection of works by American author Joe R. Lansdale, published in a very limited edition by Subterranean Press in 1999.
For Just One Hour
The Headstone (written with Bill Pronzini and Jeffrey Wallman)
The Original LengueeniesThe Headstone has not been included in any other collection. The other two stories were included in For a Few Stories More.Unmarked grave
An unmarked grave is one that lacks a marker, headstone, or nameplate indicating that a body is buried there. However, in cultures that mark burial sites, the phrase unmarked grave has taken on a metaphorical meaning.Wealdstone
Wealdstone is an area of the London Borough of Harrow, north west London. It is located north of Harrow, south of Harrow Weald, west of Belmont and east of Headstone.