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within 6 ft. of the surface, the grave should be finally closed. Graves of this kind are not necessarily covered with a ledger-stone; they may be finished with a raised mound of earth, like a common earth grave, or the side and end walls may be finished with kerb-stones a foot above the surface, and the interior left level or planted with flowers. After the last interment, a cypress or other tree, or a strong-growing herbaceous plant, might be planted in the centre.
The walls of graves of this sort should be built with numerous openings, as in fig. 31., to permit the lateral diffusion of the products of decomposition, and of the natural moisture of the soil.
Earth graves are of two kinds : private graves, in which only one body is deposited, with or without a monument; and common graves, in which several bodies are deposited, of poor persons, or paupers, for whom no monument is ever put up, except a mound covered with turf, but which ought always to be marked with a stone number for reference, and to prevent all risk of their being opened again at any future period.
Sepulchrai monuments, whether mausoleums (which is a term only applied to the most sumptuous description of tombs), square tombs, ledger-stones with inscriptions, sarcophagi, pedestals, vases, urns, columns, obelisks, pillars, crosses, &c., to have the appearance of security and permanence, ought to exhibit two features ; they ought to be perfectly erect or perpendicular, and they ought to rise from an architectural base. These features it is easy to exhibit when the monument is newly put up, but to continue them, even for a year, it is necessary to have a foundation of masonry under ground, as well as a basement above it; and, in order that this foundation may be permanently secure, it must be as deep as the adjoining grave or graves. In the case of vaults and brick graves, this secure foundation is furnished by the structure itself; but in the case of common earth graves a foundation requires to be built up, and the problem is how to effect this in a manner at once secure and economical. In most cemeteries and churchyards, and even in Père la Chaise and Kensal Green, the greater part of the monuments have no other foundation than the moved soil, and only comparatively few are placed on the firm soil. The consequence of this is, that, in two or three years after the monuments are put up, they are found leaning to one side; or, if they are composed of several pieces, they are seen with the joints rent, and conveying ideas the very reverse of permanence. Our remedy for the evil is, two brick or stone piers at the head of each grave, carried up from the bottom, and from 9 in. to 2 ft. square, according to the depth. The two piers should be brou up at the same time, and tied together by building in pieces of iron hoop; and, when within a short distance of the surface, they should be joined by a semicircular arch, Fig. 32. Pedestal resting on
a 9-inch underground Pier.
was filled in to the surface with soil. It was, at the time we saw it, being opened to the depth of between 18 ft. and 19 ft., and the smell proceeding from the earth brought up was to us intolerable. This, and numerous other cases which we have witnessed, or which have come to our knowledge altogether independently of the Parliamentary Report on the Health of Towns, for 1842, or Mr. Walker's Gatherings from Graveyards, have strongly impressed us with the necessity of a law to limit the proximity of one coffin to another in graves in which more than one interment is made, unless, as before observed, the coffins are put in on the same day. (See p. 96.)
back to back.
or carried up to the surface and connected by a lintel, which may be the visible base of the head-stone. Where a pedestal ornament of any kind not more than 18 in, on the side was to be put up, one pillar 18 in. square might suffice; or, when there was no danger of the ground being moved, even a 9-inch pier, as in fig. 32., would keep the pedestal from sinking. Where two graves were built end to end or side by side, three pillars would serve for both graves : and where four graves were to be made side by side and end to end, three pillars would suffice; or, in effect, two pillars, as shown in fig. 33., the two half-pillars at a and 6 not occupied being charged by the builder to the cemetery, which would have a right to sell them to those who made adjoining interments. a
These pillars may be built in a few hours, by having before
Fig. 33. Double Foundations for Head-stones to be placed hand portions of them prepared with brick and cement in the manner familiar to every builder; or, in stone or slate countries, underground props of these materials might be formed; nor do we see any objection to cast-iron underground props. Where permanent endurance was the main object, we would not use cast-iron monuments ; as it is next to impossible to prevent the rust from appearing through the paint, and scaling off so as to destroy,
+ first the inscription, and next the body of the monument. In some of the London cemeteries temporary labels of wood, having on them the number of the grave or of the interment, and sometimes the name of the party interred, are used ; and where economy is an object, and durability to the extent of a generation considered sufficient, we do not see any objection to the use of cast-iron tallies, such as fig. 34. ; their lower extremities being so fixed to a piece of wood as to prevent them from being pulled out, while a circular disk, resting on two plain tiles or bricks, will prevent them from sinking. The cost of these monumental tablets at the foundery will be under 18. each ; and the painting, and lettering, and fixing could scarcely, in any case, exceed
Monumental Tally of 58. each.
It is in order to supply room for head monuments that we have reserved a space of 2 ft. in width between each double row of graves, as shown in the ground plan fig. 35. In this figure a b is the space between the two lines of graves, commencing and ending with a number-stone; c c are common graves with coffins, with piers for head-stones at d d, and spaces for footstones a foot in width at e e; f is a brick grave with two coffins inserted, the head-stone to be placed between g g and d; h h are spaces left for common graves, brick graves, or, by occupying four divisions, for vaults; i, a vault for two coffins in width, occupying four divisions; k, a vault for one coffin in width, occupying one division ; ll, the green alleys between the double rows of grave beds or panels.
When it is in contemplation to have a double line of brick graves, or to fill up a cemetery regularly, without allowing a choice to the purchasers, as in the cemeteries of the Jews, then a foundation wall 2 ft. in width might be regularly carried up along the middle space, between the lines of graves, from one end of the line to the other.
3d Ser.- 1843. IV.
Fig. 35. Plan of a Double Bed for the Arrangement of two Rows of Graves, with green Alleys
between. Cenotaphs, as every one knows, are monuments put up to the memory of persons who are interred somewhere else. They commonly consist of tablets with inscriptions, medallions, busts, basso-relievos, or other sculptural objects, and are very fit ornaments for affixing to walls under cover, or protected by architectural projections, such as those furnished by a chapel, a cemetery veranda, a boundary wall, or a structure erected on purpose, as is not unfrequent in the French and German cemeteries.
Walls, when used as the boundary of a cemetery, and built of brick, may be carried up hollow, which will be a considerable saving of material, and render all piers unnecessary, unless for effect, or, in the case of cemeteries laid out in imaginary squares, the piers which are to contain the stones having the letters and numbers.
The main conveying-drains of a cemetery, if built of brick, should be barrelshaped, in the usual manner ; but, if of stone, the bottom should be laid with flag-stone, and the same description of stone should be used for the covering. Main collecting-drains may be formed by semi-cylindrical tiles placed on flat tiles in the bottom, and small stones placed over them to within a foot or less of the surface of the ground. Surface collecting-drains may be 20 in, deep, formed like the last, with tiles at the bottom, and carried up to the surface with small gravel, finishing with coarse sand; and, when these drains are in the green alleys, grass may be sown over them. When at the sides of the gravel walks or roads, they ought to communicate with surface gratings at regular distances; and immediately under each grating there ought to be a pit 1 ft. square and 2 ft deep to retain the sand carried in by the water (fig. 36.), this sand being taken out once a year. Where the roads and walks are laid with asphalte, gratings of this kind will be more necessary than when they are made of gravel, as a certain proportion of the water always sinks Fig.36. Cesspool under Grating for through the latter material, but none through retaining the Sand brought down the former.
by the Water. The furniture, or tools, implements, and temporary structures, of large and complete cemeteries, consists of picks, spades, shovels, levers, rakes, scrapers, brooms; a rope and pulley, or block and tackle, to be used with a triangle; planks, ladders, grave-boards, dumcrafts, grave-platforms, grave-boxes, gravemoulds, wheelbarrows, buckets for raising soil, a frame for supporting canvass or a tarpaulin over a grave while being dug during rain; and a temporary structure, consisting of a floor of boards or wooden grating, with three sides and a roof of canvass, rendered waterproof by paint, for the protection of the clergyman while reading the service at the grave ; with another structure, of a larger size, for sheltering both the clergyman and the mourners. It is only necessary to notice in detail the grave-boards, the earth-boxes, and the temporary structures, as these are required in all burying-grounds.
The grave-boards are required in almost every case where the grave is dug more than 5 or 6 feet in depth, in order to prevent the sides from breaking down; and they are, perhaps, the most important implements connected with the cemetery. The ordinary custom is, to dig the grave 6 in. or a foot longer than is necessary ; to introduce planks, one after another, as the grave advances in depth; and to keep them firmly against the sides by short pieces used as struts at the ends. An iinproved description of grave-boards has been devised by two superintendants of London cemeteries unknown to other, viz. Mr. E. Buxton, superintendant of the Nunhead Cemetery, and Mr. Northen, superintendant of the Tower Hamlets Cemetery. In both improvements the side grave-boards are hinged, so as to form a concave side next the grave, by which means, when they are placed against the sides, they resist the lateral pressure in the manner of an arch. According to Mr. Buxton's invention, one board is put in beneath another as the grave is excavated, and each board is kept in its place by the end struts, which are driven outwards at each end of the grave : but, according to the practice in the Tower Hamlets Cemetery, the boards and end pieces are first joined together, and then let down from the top, one above another, as in well-sinking. The difficulty in both cases is to take the boards out, which must always be done by commencing at the bottom and proceeding upwards, the filling in of the earth over the coffin being carried on at the same time. Were the boards taken out from the top, the earth from the sides would be liable to fall in and bury some of the lower boards, or, in the case of graves 15 or 20 feet deep, it might bury the grave-digger. The grave-boards used by Mr. Buxton, the superintendant of the Nunhead Cemetery, are represented in the isometrical view fig. 37. They are in four parts : two sides, each of
Fig. 37. The Grave-Boards used in the Nunhead Cemetery. which is hinged on a beveled edge, which renders it impossible for them to get out of their places, and two ends which serve as struts to keep the sides apart. These ends are prevented from dropping out, by cutting the grave rather less than the intended width, and driving the ends, which act as struts, home with a large wooden hammer; in consequence of which they cannot be removed without the aid of a flat-ended lever bar. The sides are kept in their places by the pressure of the soil, against which they act as arches. The method of using these boards is as follows. The ground is opened about 1 ft. or 18 in. in depth ; then the first pair of boards and ends are fixed, their upper edge being 12 or 18 inches from the surface of the ground. Next, at intervals of their own width, or closer, if the nature of the ground renders it necessary, another pair of boards and ends may be fixed, and so on till the grave is dug to the required depth. When the coffin has been deposited, the lowest pair of boards and ends are first taken out; and the remaining sides and ends are taken out in succession as the grave is filled. Mr. Buxton, to whom we are indebted for a small model from which our engraving was made, and who takes a deep interest in the Nunhead Cemetery, and in the subject of cemeteries generally, states that, by having the head and foot boards of different sizes, graves may be made of different degrees of width, as required for the different-sized coffins. The common length of the head board is 18 in., and of the foot board 16 in. ; length of the side 5 ft. 2 in., and of the shorter portion 2 ft. 2 in. ; making the total dimensions of the box, inside measure, 7 ft. in length; width at the shoulders, 2 ft. 4 in.: but by the use of differentsized head and foot struts, as before mentioned, any size required may be obtained. A great deal of labour in digging is saved by the use of these boards. It may be added, that a set of side boards are kept about 6 ft. in length, by which graves 5 ft. 9 in. in the clear are produced.
Fig. 38. Plan of the Grave.Boards in use in the Tower Hamlets Cemetery. Fig. 38. is a plan of the grave-boards invented by Mr. Northen, as they appear when placed together in the grave. One side is hinged at D, and the other retained in its angular position by strong iron plates at the upper and under edge at a. Both boards are fastened to the ends by iron pins, which drop into eyes, as seen at the angles e e, and more distinctly in the sections figs. 43. and 44.
Fig. 39. Elevation of the Side marked p in fig. 38. Fig. 39. is an elevation of the side o viewed externally, showing the hinges at f, and the iron hoops for preventing the boards from splitting at gg.
Fig. 40. Elevation of the Side marked A in fig. 38. Fig. 40. is an elevation of the side marked a seen externally : hh, the top and bottom stiffening plates.