undercliffe cemetery snow

The Symbolism of Victorian Funerary Art

What is the significance of a carved dove, captured in eartbound flight ? (*see end of article for the answer)

On Saturday, Undercliffe Cemetery hosted two tours, led by researcher Marjorie Hopkinson, which provided a fascinating insight into the language and meaning behind the  carvings and decorations on the headstones and memorials.

The Victorians used the motifs and symbols to represent their faith, beliefs and, the very real tragedy of a death. For example the broken column, which is often mistaken for vandalism! represents a life cut short. It can also mean the loss of support such as the death of the head of the household. The joined hands symbolises the love and hope of  husband and wife being reunited. Although now weathered the right hand is male with the cuff of a jacket sleeve just visible.

Saturday was great success and just over £200 was realised for the charity. A big thanks to all who attended, especially those visitors who travelled from Cumbria and South Yorkshire. Also a special mention for Ann and Barbara for the tea and scones.

Please keep looking at our Events Page for news of future tours and events.

Why not get a group (minimum of 10) together and book your own tour, at a charge of £5.00 per person.

Our Lodge building is available for hire. Its the perfect meeting point for community groups history, photography societies and book clubs. Please get in touch via our enquiry form.

*What is the significance of a carved bird captured in eartbound flight ?:  A bird, often a dove, as pictured on the Beherens monument, represents the Holy Spirit. If it were flying upwards it would  indicate the spirit ascending .





You currently have JavaScript disabled!

This site requires JavaScript to be enabled. Some functions of the site may not be usable or the site may not look correct until you enable JavaScript. You can enable JavaScript by following this tutorial. Once JavaScript is enabled, this message will be removed.