In the churchyard at Abercorn Church near South Queensferry, Scotland, there is a fine collection of old gravestones on view.
Many date back to the 1600s, before widespread literacy, so carry pictures rather than words. Common symbols include emblems of mortality such as skulls and bones or hourglasses; or emblems of immortality like angels, cherubs or doves. Also on show are symbols of the trade of the buried person, like an anvil and horseshoe for a blacksmith; or a rolling pin and baps for a baker.
Abercorn Parish Church is a remarkable place. But even though a small part of it can be dated back to the 1100s, what you can see today is only part of the story. There are clues to an even longer history in the collection of stones on view in the Abercorn Museum, just inside the churchyard gates. These include Viking hog-back burial stones; a cross stone; and a carved cross-shaft dating back to the 600s.
Three bracketed JPGs converted to HDR in Photomatix.
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