Wednesday, 26 June 2013

St Margarets Parish Churchyard - Rainham

The site is found on High Street, Rainham, Kent. The nearest station is Rainham which is a couple of minutes walk from it.
The church seemed to have been built sometime in the late 1200, so it os possible that the site was around at that time also.
Thomas Norreys – A comissioner of the navy who died in 1624
The land is said to be about 30 acres, although, I do not think that is very accurate. The layout is near enough a triangle shape that is situated on a small hill.
As Rainham was where my boyfriend used to live, I am suprised that I hadn't actually done this one sooner. I suppose that I half expected it to be a tiny little churchyard on a busy road that was not that well looked after. Well, it is safe to say that I was very much wrong. Like I said, the site is on a main road, and quite a busy one at that. What is charming though is that it sits on a little hill which lets it overlook the rest of the town. On one side you have a community center and on the other you have an estate. This cuts the privacy severely and makes it less peaceful than it should be, due to a cut through path that runs through it for public access.
When you approach the site, you are met with a mixed set of graves. You have some very old and weathered ones mixed in with fairly recent ones. This has always seemed a bit strange to me as when that happens, it means that an old one has been removed and placed with the new one. Something that I absolutely detest. There is a fair amount of greenery here to which is quite refreshing considering its location. The church over looking it all is rather spectacular. I have seen it at night time and they way it looms over is very beautiful if not slightly creepy.
The biggest suprise of this site is actually the size. To look at it from the front you would think that it is actually quite small. Go around the back however and you will see that it is very much bigger. There are lines of trees ( that almost make an enclosed kind of tunnel) and lots of little archways. again made by the trees. I would love to see this place in the middle of the summer with all the blossom from the trees blowing around. It really would be like something out of a fairy tale. I could not believe how beautiful it was behind the church.
Ufortunatley, most of the old graves are either damaged or unreadable. Whether this is down to vandalism, neglect or both, I don't know but it is such a shame. The one thing I would like to point out, which I have not seen in another graveyard yet, is that near the back entrance of the church they have 3 very large gravestones. On these gravestones, on both sides, are what appears to be, a record of all of the graves in the site. At first I thought they were war memorials, which is not uncommon, but looking at the dates, there are some that are recent deaths and who weren't that old. Whatever it was intended to be, it certainly helped add a little bit of character.
In some of my photos I found some weird looking orbs. Although, on further inspection, these turned out to be little bits of blossom that were falling from the trees. There was one thing that slightly bothered me. As I was looking through my photos, I seen what appeared to be a shadow figure next to the church door. I left my laptop for a few minutes so that i could get some tracing paper (something that I use to help me determine shapes), but when I returned, the shape was gone. Obviously, there could be a chance that I thought that I had seen something, but I am not usually one for doing that. I was slightly disturbed by this, I wonder if I maybe caught something that really did not want to be seen?
From the front, I was in awe with the church. From the back however, it was the graveyard that certainly had my attention. It really is a deceptively beautiful place. I only wish that a bit more care was put into it and that more effort was made with the front of the site. If you like to explore a little, then this is the place. For a churchyard, it certainly has a magical feel to it.
“Respect those who are not physically here, you can’t see them but they can see you, and disrespect is something they don’t want to see”
RATING: 3/5 - If it hadn't been on a main road then it would pretty much be perfect.

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