A simple life in the Dales


In my local churchyard of St Mary’s here in Long Preston, Ribblesdale, there aren’t many ‘grand’ tombstones – a reflection perhaps of the make-up of this once rural community. Nevertheless, the memorials in this small graveyard fascinate me, and over the years I’ve  collected – photographically I should add – a great variety of them. This simple wooden cross is probably my favourite. In a shady spot it catches late afternoon sunshine. It’s obviously still maintained as even the best paint from the 1930s couldn’t have survived so many winters. On the Ancestry website I discovered that Richard, who was born in the village, was a sheep and cattle grazier and that he and his wife Jane had seven children. Every gravestone here has a story to tell; social history waiting to be unravelled.

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