Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Victorian Park of Rest

Sunday was another cold breezy day, and once again ruled out the chance of a bike ride. Not wanting to hike I decided to stay closer to home and while researching on the internet came across a comment from a guy who had visited the cemetery in Warrenton and liked the Victorian fencing. This appealed to me so I jumped in the car with my camera. As I drove in I spotted the fencing immediately, painted in the traditional black. This tradition has many people believing the story that Queen Victoria, after the death of Prince Albert, had demanded  all wrought iron fencing in London should be painted black as a mark of respect. The real reason is here.
There were also a lot of Civil War graves here and I was astounded to find myself peering down at Colonel John S. Mosby's resting place. Nearby is a mass grave for many of the unknown soldiers who perished in Manassas battles, but recently they have been identified and their names are now engraved on the wall surrounding the grave.The full story is here.
Lady Virginia, who stands atop the memorial, nearly lost her footing, local article is here.
There were markers of peoples' visits atop Mosby's headstone, little pebbles, coins and even a small white horse. I wondered if this represented the Colonel's actual steed but could find no reference of him riding a white horse on the internet. More information on The Grey Ghost' is here.
There was evidence of water damage also, some grave stones had been propped up in various ways or had bricks and stones thrust under them to prevent them from falling. but there were quite a few that had fallen and broken or were disappearing under the soil. It looked like heavy rains had washed soil from the slopes and some sunken areas had been flooded. There were a few benches that had been slowly rusting away with shrubbery and ivy climbing over or through them, staking their claim.
Beautiful carvings adorned many of the graves, styles from Victorian times as well as some being art decco or art nouveau.
Some very original stone statues are also here, eye catching with their expressions of sorrow or deep contemplation. I found a grave marked with, I supposed, pets that had been left behind and were missing their master.
And as I was leaving I spotted a clump of daffodils on the verge of blooming, their yellow trumpets tightly curled for now, but which would be in full bloom in a few days.
I was very impressed with this cemetery. I'd driven by so many times yet never taken the time to stop and explore as it had never intrigued me as I looked out from my car window. There was nothing to really see from my view on the road, and if I'd never read that line, victorian park', I would likely have never stopped. Just one more time that the old saying, 'never judge a book by its cover' has rung true.

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