2 Aug 2008

A favourite spot

Newtown cemetery - which originally sprawled across the whole of Camperdown park has been contained by walls to St. Stephens church. It has a fascinating history and is a very unique looking cemetery with overgrown grass, vines, ivy; big shady trees; headstones lining the walls; grafitti, a little caretakers cottage; and even the original "Miss Havisham"; truly, could we ever forget that Dicksonian woman left at the wedding banquet? The orignal Miss Havisham named "Eliza Emily Donnithrone" was left waiting for her groom George Cuthbertson on the day of their wedding and screamed that none of the wedding preparations be touched until he arrived - in the months after she still waited and gave birth to their illegitimate child. Upon recovering she was alleged to have never left the confines of her house again and insisted that the front door be left ajar with a chain so that her groom could announce his belated arrival. She lived the rest of her life as an eccentric, broken-hearted recluse who strolled around the grounds of her property wearing black. She apparently had an expansive library and is said to have funded the construction of the new St. Stephens church. She died on May 20 1886, aged 60, of heart disease. Read the whole story, including how Dickens heard of her sad life here.
For a few years my parents were part of the St. Stephens congregation (11 years ago my mother and step-dad got married there). As young girls Maddy and I spent a number of Sundays playing there, and in the past years have visited it many times; with different friends; in different seasons and have always found it beautiful and fascinating.

4 comments:

  1. The cemetry is a truly peaceful and pituresque spot. You've captured it beautifully, too - it's a place that can sometimes seem a little dank and dirty, but the sun was perfect on the stones and you've made it look magical. I have a few memories of that spot too...

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  2. What a beautiful and peaceful post - always a pleasure to read your posts and admire your gift for photography Windhover.

    : )

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  3. Looks like an amazing spot. I love the last photograph especially.

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