St Clement's Church

St Clement's Church
It took so much willpower not to name this post "Oranges and Lemons". I don't have enough willpower that I could resist telling you so, though.

Anyway, about a month ago on that one sunny day, Steve and a friend and I decided to take the long way home from the beach. We were wandering around the harbour streets - which are mostly made up of warehouses and shipyards full of giant rusty chains - taking turns at random when we stumbled across St Clement's Church.
St Clement's Church tower
I was vaguely aware that the church was there - I've walked past it before, but always when the gates have been locked or it's been raining or I've been laden down with shopping. On this day, the gates were open and I charged in, assuming the boys would follow behind me (they're good that way).

The church is long since boarded up, but the graveyard was fascinating. The earliest date we found was this one:
Bigit this Dyk
That's just about the building of the wall ("dyke") which encloses the land. The graves were mostly from the 1800s and were almost all for seafarers, shipbuilders and their families. Many of them were memorials for men - and boys - who had been lost at sea.
Memorial to David Grant
The church itself was built in 1828, but it is at least the third to be built on this site; there is a record of a church on this land as far back as 1467 and that's just because it was in need of rethatching.

I never used to feel entirely comfortable taking photographs in graveyards; I wasn't sure if it was disrespectful. Elinor pointed out to me a while ago that the gravestones were made to be beautiful or impressive; she convinced me it's only right that - in particular now that the memories are gone and all that's left is stones and engravings (and a lot of rabbits) - somebody stops and admires them.
In memory of...
Sunlight on stained glass
Missing memories
Bird on gravestone
Spider web


  1. Alice, Pretty Confused3 October 2012 at 17:14

    I've always worried I was being disrespectful taking photos in graveyards, but I think after a hundred years, when there is no family left to visit them, it is nice that they are still be admired, and remembered, even if it is just through people blogging about them. It's a shame this church isn't still used though, it's a shame for such a beautiful building to get forgotten about xo

  2. At first I was like, why on earth did she want to title it "Oranges and lemons" and then I went back to the top and was like OHHH HOOO! haha

    Once I was in a graveyard in Moscow and we weren't really sure if we'd get in trouble for taking photos, but then we just sort of gave up and took them anyway.  I figure that I wouldn't mind people taking photos of my grave as long as they weren't posing on it or something!

  3. Gorgeous photos.  I have a bit of an obsession with graveyards (must be my gothy youth coming back to haunt me (no pun intended))

  4. Yeah, I can't put my finger on what's so appealing about them but I do love a good nosey around a graveyard.

  5. Exactly. The shots where girls in white dresses are sprawled on top of graves trying to look spooky and sexy? Not really okay with that... Admiring the stones? Totally different matter.

  6. Exactly.

    And yes, it's just sitting there surrounded by great big warehouses these days - it's kind of odd, plunked there in the middle of them - so there are no other obvious uses for it. But at least the council still maintain it...

  7. I like the curly whirly writing on the stone, that would have taken more skill than the other ones. I like to walk through graveyards, I see them as a quiet place, to reflect during those 3 minutes it takes to walk through the one in the centre of town, for example. I still apologise in my head to the ones I'm walking over though. I've done that since I was little.

  8. The curly writing is so beautifully done.


Please play nice.