Archive for October 2015

Those Places Thursday: Cleaning family graves in Cornwall

Category: Making Memories

We like to visit Newlyn in Cornwall from time to time, the home of Harvey's forbears as well as the place where he lived as a young child, so last weekend we took a drive down. We brought along a bucket, a scrubbing brush and cleaner together with some shears to the cemetery in Sheffield Road on the outskirts of the nearby village of Paul where a number of Harvey's relatives are buried. The cemetery is always well kept but it's nice to be able to tidy things up just a little bit more.

After we'd tended Harvey's parents grave, we moved over to that of his great-grandparents (Thomas Barnes & Sarah Elizabeth, nee Wright) and his grandad (also Thomas Barnes). The monument had become quite dirty in recent years and a few stumps of grass had decided to poke through the side of the covering stone so it was with great satisfaction that we removed the grass and cleaned up the headstone.

Grave of Thomas Barnes senr., his wife, Sarah nee Wright, and their son, Thomas Barnes jun. before the clean-up
Grave of Thomas Barnes senr., his wife, Sarah nee Wright,
and their son, Thomas Barnes jun. before the clean-up.


Grave of Thomas Barnes senr., his wife, Sarah nee Wright, and their son, Thomas Barnes jun. after the clean-up
Grave of Thomas Barnes senr., his wife, Sarah nee Wright,
and their son, Thomas Barnes jun. after the clean-up.

Amongst the family archive, we have the somewhat dilapidated, stone mason's original invoice which describes the monument in detail. The firm was W. H. Snell who were based in Newlyn. Sarah died in October 1910 but the invoice is dated almost two years later on 27th July 1912. It states…

For making Polished Granite fronted Headstone and Polished fronted Base of fine Grit Cornish Granite with Scotch Granite Green pearl Urn, and Red Suede Pillars all polished, and Lead Inscription Gilded over front of Letters and fine dressed Granite Kerb around Grave Galvanized Iron Tomb Rail 871 Pattern and Slate Covering Stone over Grave Space fixed at the Cemetery Paul as per price agreed. £25 0s 0d. (equivalent to more than £2000 today). Written below this are further costs which have since faded and become illegible.

When Thomas Barnes senr. died in 1939, the cost to remove the monument for burial, to add further lettering and clean and re-erect it with new foundations came to £6 7s. 0d. The invoice was produced by Snell & Son with the slogan… When outstanding Quality is essential discriminating buyers favour "SNELLS". We have no paperwork denoting the costs for when Thomas Barnes jun. was buried in 1975.

Finally, it wasn't until we arrived home and looked at the photographs I'd taken that we realized we'd paid a visit on the anniversary of Harvey's great-grandfather's death - 10th October.

Thomas Barnes senr's. headstone inscription
Thomas Barnes senr's. headstone inscription.


[Why Those Places Thursday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]