What do you do on a Friday afternoon, when friends are busy, the housework doesn't appeal, and the sun is shining?
You go to a Victorian cemetery, of course.
Sheffield's General Cemetery was opened in 1836, the year before Queen Victoria's coronation.
This is the Gatehouse.
The wider paving stones either side of the cobbles are for the carriage wheels.
Don't want to jolt the coffin, or the mourners ...
This beautiful lady nestles among the wet leaves, one of the gravestones which have been laid flat to form a path.
I have photos I took of her 25 years ago.
I know I am not alone in loving a graveyard, and this one is really special.
Overgrown, derelict, graffitied, vandalised, wonderful.
This is my first experiment with taking photos of myself using the tripod in a public place.
It was very quiet, only the occasional passerby or dog walker, so I felt OK, not too conspicuous.
The brambles and mud played havoc with my skirt.
Like many a lady before me, no doubt, I had to raise my skirt and pick my way through the obstacles.
Steps up to the Egyptian-style Non Conformist Chapel.
This cemetery was the first in England to be built in the Egyptian style, popular at the time.
Boarded up, spray-painted, the Chapel apparently has vaults and catacombs with a sunken driveway underneath.
1970s Co-op maxi skirt - vintage fair
Velvet jacket, leather bag and sequin beret - charity shoppped
Boots - Ebay
Scarf - flea market
Brooch - car boot
Leather gloves - gift
There are so many details to catch your eye and make you want to linger.
I did linger. I love graveyards.
Relative of Joe or Jarvis?
Mark Firth, steel manufacturer.
Shades of Ozymandias...
A man walking past as I took pictures of this statue remarked that she must be the most photgraphed lady in Sheffield.
She is so beautiful, I can believe it.
Apart from me, of course...
The church is sadly in disrepair and boarded up.
The cemetery's Trust has a website, which says that although burial of the dead was clearly a priority,
it also wanted to be a sanctuary for the living.
A place for the living to meet, walk and talk, with sweeping vistas and inspiring architecture.
There are so many interesting gravestones to read, but this one caught my eye.
Poor Lydia and James, they lost 2 little boys, Theon and Sydney, at age 5 and 6, then their wonderfully named daughter Kate Juno at 22.
Death was a constant companion.
As I was walking around the cemetery, I had this song on my internal jukebox.
Kate Rusby is a South Yorkshire lass, from Penistone. I have seen her play live, and she is gorgeous, very talented, and a delightful woman.
This Youtube clip uses images from the BBC production of Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
Some doom-laden Hardy seems perfectly in tune with a post about a Victorian cemetery!
Have a fabulous weekend, my friends!