Monday, 11 January 2010

Puzzle Corner

This is Uppingham churchyard. Or to be more precise the Victorian extension. Which made me wonder about this little gazebo tucked away in one corner. I've come across little shelters put up in the age of bodysnatchers for those protecting the newly-buried from the Resurrection Men, but this is from a calmer age and would appear to be for another purpose. There's no door on it, so that rules out a store for sexton's tools, and it's a little cramped and sepulchrally dark for more than one person to take cover from a shower. Or snowstorm. Perhaps it's more likely to be a shelter for the parson waiting for a funeral party, but whatever the reason I've just noticed that it's another one for the collection of buildings with faces. A yawning one at that- 'so tired, tired of waiting'.

6 comments:

Alistair Fitchett said...

Yay, A Kinks song reference. That was a Kinks song reference, wasn't it? Or is it just me?

Philip Wilkinson said...

Yep, that sounds like the Kinks.

Could the building be a grave-digger's shelter? Churches sometimes had portable shelters, known as hudds (almost the same word as hood, I think), made of wood, that could be moved to the graveside for breaks during the rain. I've seen one inside the church at Brookland, Kent (the church with a belfry like a candle-snuffer). Maybe this could be a more permanent version.

Jon Dudley said...

I agree with Mr.W...when I was temporarily employed as a grave digger (not the sort of job you're likely to made redundant from, what with death being ever present, etc), the undertakers hated us loitering around the graveside in our anxiety to get shovelling the soil back. We were therefore banished to a shed until the last of the weeping (or laughing, depending upon circumstances) mourners were safely off the premises. I therefore vote for a gravediggers hidey-hole. Cue music, and Robert Robinson smiling as Frank Muir reveals correct answer...

Stephen Barker said...

There is a similar looking structure on a corner on the opposite side of the road. Is one a copy of the other? I'm sure you spotted the blocked-in arches in the wall of the graveyard which were designed to give a refuge to pedestrians when the road up the hill was a narrower.

Peter Ashley said...

Ah, well, now then. Missed the arches, I'll go with the gravedigger's shelter and yes, that was a Kink's reference.

Peter said...

It forms a pair (of follies?) with one on School property, diagonally across the main road.

I have always presumed the inspiration was in the nearby village of Lyddington; a C14 roadside structure, sometimes called the Bishop's Eye, part of the bishop's palace (now the Bedehouse).