In Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place (Granta, 2014), Philip Marsden visits Tregony, a village in Cornwall, and approaches two men in the churchyard of St. Rumon’s. One is digging a grave. The other is “busy leaning on his spade.” Marsden describes the latter as “an elderly man with a jowly face” who is “quite happy to interrupt his leaning for a little chat.”….
“`Exciting place, a graveyard. Least I always think so. Always something going on.’ We looked around at the headstones and the empty paths and the shadowy places beneath the sycamore. He extended a finger to an age-skewed memorial beside us. `Best stones are they [sic] slate ones – like that. Nice curly writing. Stays hundreds of years on slate – not like the limestone. Weather gets to the limestone and it’s gone in no time, wiped away.’”
Patrick Kurp then goes on to quote these lines from Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"
“Yet even these bones from insult to protectPosted by Jill Fallon at April 24, 2015 3:27 PM | Permalink
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
“Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.”