Here’s an oddity, a grave secured by a mortsafe in the burial ground of the church of St Edmund, King and Martyr, in East Mersea. The iron plaque states, ‘Sarah Wrench died 6th May 1848 aged 15 years and 5 months’.
There aren’t many material traces of the Anglo-Saxons visible in London, at least within the bounds of the old medieval city.
My last post was about the effects of Victorian railway construction on a London churchyard. The present day High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project is a twenty-first century counterpart, carving a route through several hundred miles of rural England. And on this route are three burial grounds containing 30,000 graves, all of whose occupants will have to be exhumed and reburied elsewhere.
The coming of the railways gouged, scoured, and re-made the British landscape more dramatically than any process since the glaciers of the Ice Age went to work millennia before. Embankments, cuttings, bridges, tunnels were built, embedded, imposed, as the web of iron, wood, and stone was spun across the island.